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Wisconsin Receives $3M, Safety Upgrades Expected on 10 Miles of Railroad

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg announced the state is the recipient of a $3 Million grant.

The grant impacts a 10-mile railroad corridor in Waukesha County.

The grant is through the STEP program. Step stands for safe transportation of energy products. The Federal Railroad Administration could award $10 Million total, and only $3 Million per grant. Administrator Feinberg said in a press conference Saturday, Wisconsin was awarded the highest amount of money through the grant program. 

The money will be used to upgrade safety for pedestrians and vehicles at railroad crossings.

"There have been collisions with fatalities in this community," said Feinberg.

Feinberg said in the press conference, she is confident Wisconsin is using the money in the right way.

"Our grant money should be going to communities like this that worry about crossing ... safety and pedestrians," said Feinberg.

Ten crossings along Waukesha County railroads will get upgrades.

Baldwin and Feinberg toured a railroad crossing in the Village of Pewaukee that will undergo upgrades from the grant.

"Grant will go for safety improvements make it harder for vehicles to bypass the gates that go down," said Baldwin.

To prevent vehicles from going around the gates, a median will be constructed at one crossing. Other crossings are updating pedestrian signs and creating safety sidewalks, gates and lights.

Twenty-three trains pass through the Waukesha County corridor tracks each day, and it's not uncommon for them to be carrying crude oil or volatile chemicals.
        
Senator Baldwin says she recently helped pass legislation to make that instance safer.

Now, first responders will be notified when a train carrying hazardous material comes through their town. The goal is for first responders to be prepared if an accident were to happen.

To find out more about the grant visit: www.transportation.gov/briefingroom

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