NORWALK, CONN. – The State Bond Commission has approved more than $53 million for the Connecticut Department of Transportation to begin work to replace the New Haven Line’s 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk that carries Metro-North trains over the Norwalk River, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.
The Walk Bridge, which carries over 140 trains a day and is maintained by Metro-North under contract to the state of Connecticut, malfunctioned in two separate incidents within a two week period this past summer and caused serious delays for New Haven Line commuters.
The project is expected to create or retain 4,500 construction-related jobs.
“The failure of the Walk Bridge to open this summer, which resulted in massive delays and hassle for Connecticut riders, just underscored the need for us to continue our efforts to aggressively pursue funding for these kinds of projects and ensure a safe, reliable and convenient commute for residents.” said Malloy in a statement.
The $53 million in state funds will be used to match a $161 million federal grant awarded to ConnDOT in September under the Sandy Resiliency Project Program for states most affected by Storm Sandy. The state applied for federal funding to cover capital costs of several resiliency, or 'infrastructure hardening,' projects central to the New Haven Line, including the design and full replacement of the Walk Bridge, Malloy said.
Built in 1896, the Walk Bridge is the oldest movable bridge along the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut. The bridge will be replaced with a more resilient “bascule” or vertical lift bridge that opens for marine traffic from one side with a counterweight system and will significantly enhance the safety and reliability of commuter and intercity passenger service on the New Haven Line.
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