Port Milwaukee gets $3 million state grant

Rail upgrades expected to bring intermodal service back

An aerial view of the intermodal service at Port Milwaukee shortly before it shut down in 2012.

Port Milwaukee has received a $3 million state grant for work on the railroad track on Jones Island, paving the way for the potential resumption of intermodal container service.

An aerial view of the intermodal service at Port Milwaukee shortly before it shut down in 2012.

The Port will contribute another $600,000 to the project, during which about 8,000 feet of track is to be modernized. Intermodal container service from Port Milwaukee was shut down by Canadian Pacific in September 2012 because of low volume, forcing some Milwaukee users to truck their containers to Chicago for rail transport.

Both Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific currently send rail cars through Port Milwaukee by the thousands each year. Port leaders have been lobbying both of them to consider adding intermodal service.

Area manufacturers and Port tenants would be able to ship products via rail to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with the return of the service. The rail upgrades are expected to improve transportation efficiency through Port Milwaukee.

“Port Milwaukee’s railroad infrastructure has served Milwaukee companies for decades. These planned improvements will bring tracks at the Port to the highest standards,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “Looking forward, this work will facilitate the addition of long-distance container service so local businesses can reach distant markets efficiently.”

“Port Milwaukee is an active transportation hub and vital economic artery for our region,” said Adam Schlicht, director of Port Milwaukee. “The Port’s multimodal connectivity ensures that Wisconsin-manufactured products can safely and reliably move to domestic and international markets via the Port’s water, rail and highway access. The Port’s efficiency and infrastructure ensures Wisconsin’s goods can move freely and readily, and with these rail improvements, companies in Milwaukee and around the region will see added transportation and economic benefits.”

Get our email updates

Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.