The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has ordered a temporary halt to construction of the high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison. The work stoppage was confirmed in an e-mail Thursday afternoon from DOT Secretary Frank Busalacchi.
At the Governor’s request, I have asked contractors and consultants working on the high speed rail project to temporarily interrupt their work for a few days.
In light of the election results, our agency will be taking a few days to assess the real world consequences, including the immediate impacts to people and their livelihoods, if this project were to be stopped.
While the work stoppage is termed temporary, the new political landscape in Madison and Washington D.C. would make it appear unlikely that work on the $810 million project will ever resume. Governor-elect Scott Walker, who promised to halt the project during his campaign, said Wednesday that he was exploring legal actions to stop the train, even though state and federal officials had signed contracts for the project last weekend.
Also on Wednesday, U.S Representative John Mica, the Florida Republican in line to head the House Transportation Committee indicated his intention to reexamine $10 billion in federal grants for high-speed projects in Wisconsin and several other states.