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Governor Walker approves $7.6 million in freight rail loan awards

August 9, 2013

Governor Scott Walker today announced four state awards totaling $7,605,081 to improve rail infrastructure and support economic growth.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is administering the awards through its Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP). As a revolving loan program, FRIIP awards are provided to private industries, railroads and local governments. Loans are used to improve rail infrastructure, highway/grade crossings and construct new rail-served facilities. The program’s overall goal is to boost economic development and jobs. As FRIIP loans are repaid, the dollars help fund new projects. The 2014 loan awards include:

  • Farm City Elevator Inc, Darien: $1,500,000
    The FRIIP award covers the total project cost to build a 765,000 bushel grain storage bin at the facility, previously owned by Zenda Grain LLC. This is the fifth consecutive year the site has received a FRIIP loan. The facility is located on a rail line served by Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Company, on right of way owned by the state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission. Farm City Elevator continues to take advantage of this location near the Chicago grain markets. The additional storage bin is expected to increase the market for wheat, corn and soy beans, and enhance the southeast Wisconsin farming economy.
  • Didion Milling Inc, Cambria: $2,532,831
    This project includes the construction of a mainline bypass track, a rail scale switch, a warehouse addition, a bulk loadout facility, and a complete upgrade of the corn unload system. The main purpose is to meet the increased capacity of the milling division, which has outgrown the current rail infrastructure. The rail line is operated by Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, on right of way owned by the State of Wisconsin and granted to the East Wisconsin County Railroad Consortium. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2,943,000.
  • Grain Ventures LLC, Oconto Falls: $820,000
    The FRIIP award covers the total estimated project cost to build a 600,000 bushel capacity grain storage bin. Expansion at the Oconto Falls facility will increase options for area farmers in the northeast region of the state. The facility is served by Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad, on a rail line in which the state of Wisconsin holds a significant equity interest.
  • Wisconsin Rapids Grain – Nidera, LLC, Blair: $2,752,250
    This project involves the construction of a new 7,200 foot rail spur track, including six switches at the east Blair grain facility. The main purpose of the spur is to open up new markets for Wisconsin Rapids Grain to ship grain nationally. It also has potential to become a transloading terminal for such uses as frac sand. The facility is served by Canadian National Railroad. The FRIIP award covers the total estimated cost of the project.

Since 1993, WisDOT has provided more than $117 million in FRIIP loans.

Twelve freight railroads operate in Wisconsin on a system of more than 3,500 miles of track and move an estimated 190 million tons of commodities every year.

For more information, contact:
Frank Huntington, WisDOT Bureau of Transit, Local Roads, Rails and Harbors
(608) 267-3710, frank.huntington@dot.wi.gov

 

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