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Canadian Pacific plans to make upgrades to bridge over First Street

Canadian Pacific plans to make upgrades to the columns supporting the bridge over First Street in Milwaukee later this fall.
 
The plans include pouring a concrete encasement around some of the steel columns to protect them from deterioration. The encasements will prevent water and slush mixed with road salt from coming in contact with the steel columns, which should prolong the life of the bridge. 
 
The upgrades stem from a process that began in 2014, when CP budgeted money for an evaluative inspection in 2015. That inspection confirmed that the bridge is strong, and continues to safely bear the weight of numerous freight and passenger trains every day, but also noted that measures to protect the columns should be considered to prevent further corrosion and prolong the life of the bridge.
 
CP owns more than 2,500 bridges along its 14,000-mile rail network. In accordance with Federal Railroad Administration regulations, CP inspects each of its U.S. bridges annually. 
 
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement on Canadian Pacific’s plans to make improvements on a rail bridge in Milwaukee’s densely populated 5th Ward:

“Last month, I heard concerns raised by Milwaukee citizens over a rail bridge that runs through downtown Milwaukee’s 5th Ward. I called on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to take immediate action. Shortly thereafter, to its credit, the agency began auditing Canadian Pacific’s bridge inspection reports. Today, I am pleased to learn that Canadian Pacific is moving to address the concerns of Milwaukee City officials and concerned citizens by announcing plans to improve the structural integrity of this bridge. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve worked to make more funding available for the FRA to inspect freight rail infrastructure and for railroads to improve their lines, especially along crude oil routes like the one that runs through downtown Milwaukee. It is critical that the FRA can put resources to use increasing the safety of rail lines that run though communities in Wisconsin and across the country.”

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