From an article by on BizTimes.com:
The public is invited to a “brown bag lunch” to learn about the economic benefits of high-speed rail at informal hearing by the Midwest High Speed Rail Association at the Milwaukee Public Market on Thursday, July 22, at noon.
In January, the federal government awarded $823 million to Wisconsin to develop the Milwaukee-to-Madison high speed rail system, with $810 million earmarked for upgrading existing rail lines and constructing stations.
The state Department of Transportation is already moving forward with contracts for upgrading the existing rail lines between Milwaukee and Madison to accommodate high speed passenger trains.
“The high-speed rail infrastructure is becoming a reality, and with that will come economic development that could create thousands of good-paying jobs in Milwaukee and communities stretching from Waukesha to Madison,” said Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is expected to let contracts for all or most of the $823 million prior to January 2011.
Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann have threatened to derail the Wisconsin project, but Bauman said that would set up “the rather ridiculous situation of having a new and upgraded rail line with no trains running on it. It would be like spending $823 million on a new highway and then refusing to fund the cost of policing, snow plowing, routine maintenance, or even street lights, thereby effectively preventing motor vehicles from using that new road.”