WisBusiness: PSC says utilities face $55M cost related to Milwaukee streetcar plans

At least three utilities face an estimated total cost of $55.5 million — at minimum — for changes as a result of a new streetcar line through downtown Milwaukee, according to a new PSC analysis.

Wisconsin Electric Power Company accounts for the bulk of that total as it faces some $45 million to move or modify electric, natural gas and steam lines, while AT&T’s communications lines could face $10 million in modifications.

American Transmission Company could also face costs ranging from $500,000 to $15.4 million depending on the need for corrosion protection for its lines near those powering the streetcar.

PSC General Counsel Cynthia Smith wrote that the city, rather than the utilities, appears likely to bear the costs for the changes because it has not yet established “adequate health, safety, or public welfare justification” for the streetcar project.

Smith wrote the letter in response to questions over the line’s costs from Sens. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, and Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa.

“If Milwaukee wants to build a train for its downtown, God bless them. That’s their right as a city,” Wanggaard said. “I’m just glad the costs of this initiative won’t be a burden on hardworking Racine County ratepayers.”

*See the Wanggaard statement:


*See the PSC letter: