Union Pacific making $11 million upgrades to railroad in Western Wisconsin

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Union Pacific says it is preparing to make a big investment in its rail system - about $4.1 billion nationwide.

Here in Western Wisconsin, we will see about $11 million in repairs, roughly about .2% of that national total.

The project started earlier this month and impacts about 42 miles of track. Crews will be replacing the rail line. Work will start in Rusk County and go through about Eau Claire.

Construction then picks up again in Black River Falls and goes through Wyeville.

A Union Pacific spokesperson tells us pavement at 41 crossings will also be updated. That is where you could run into detours this summer.

"When the crossing surfaces are replaced, we work with the agencies that have authority over road surface whether it's county, city or state," said Mark Davis with Union Pacific. "Detours are set up for a day or two when there is work on the crossing surfaces."

Davis says some of the projects have been on the docket for the last couple years.

In a Chippewa Falls neighborhood off East Grand Avenue, the railroad is part of the neighborhood. People we talked with are glad the rail line is getting some updates.

"Could be good, hope so anyway," said Nick Konwinski.

Their main concern right now is this intersection; they hope one day there will be some crossing arms at the intersection.

"Just gates so people know when to stop, when a train is coming, so they’re well aware," Konwinski added.

And they hope something could be done about the noise.

"I usually hear it about 3 times a night," Konwinski said.

"The frustrating thing is the noise, it makes at night, especially living so close to the railroad," said Michelle Johnson who lives near the railroad.

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