JANESVILLE—A multimillion dollar federal grant will help fund repairs to key railroad bridges in Rock County, according to the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin.

Baldwin’s office announced it helped secure $6.7 million from a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to fund a project in Rock County to repair and replace components of five railroad bridges. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation submitted the application for the RAISE grant.

The bridges directly connect seven Wisconsin counties and their employers to the Chicago terminal and beyond. The project promised to help area businesses by increasing the carload weight limit from 263,000 to 286,000 pounds.

Included in the grant is funding for the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe of Wisconsin to help construct a new multi-purpose transportation facility and to purchase vehicles and heavy equipment on tribal lands in Burnett County.

“Our infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and Wisconsin’s transportation system is in critical need of improvements,” Baldwin said. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations and Commerce committees, I am pleased to be able to support this grant program to ensure our roads, bridges and transportation facilities are fully funded to serve Wisconsinites for generations to come in Rock County and on our tribal lands in Burnett County.”

Baldwin helped secure over $6.7 million, or 60% of the funding required, for the project through the federal RAISE program, with the remaining funds coming from WisDOT, Wisconsin & Southern Railroad and Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission.

The project improves the bridge over the Rock River, four bridges over roadways and 0.6 miles of track. Agricultural companies in the region supported the grant application, and environmental considerations were highlighted; on average, rail freight can move one ton of goods at four times the fuel efficiency of trucks.