June 9, 2014
Metro-North and Connecticut Officials Meet to Develop Multi-Pronged Action Plan on “Walk” Bridge
Connecticut and Metro-North to Conduct Joint Bridge Operations Evaluation; Parties Agree to Push for Federal Funding to Replace the Bridge
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast and Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti today met with Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut and Connecticut Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker to develop a multi-pronged approach with short- and long-term strategies to addressing infrastucture needs of the “Walk” Bridge. The bridge is a 118-year-old span that crosses the Norwalk River in downtown Norwalk, Connecticut, that swings open by rotating about a central pivot to allow marine traffic to pass underneath.
Teams from the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and Metro-North will conduct an operation review of procedures at the bridge to minimize future risk of failure; the teams will work together and are expected to report their findings and recommendations by mid-July.
Over the long term, both parties will push for Federal funding to allow for the replacement of the bridge.
“Every time this 118-year-old bridge fails to close properly, our customers suffer the consequences of decades of delay and neglect,” said MTA Chairman Prendergast. “We are working closely with our partners in Connecticut to support their efforts to make temporary repairs to keep this bridge operating while they pursue federal funding to replace it with a modern bridge.”
“There is no doubt that we are now seeing the effects of decades of neglect when it comes to investing in our infrastructure,” said Governor Malloy. “In the short term, every procedure, protocol and engineering solution must get the immediate attention of the most qualified team of experts to ensure reliable service for Connecticut commuters. But the long-term aim is to find and fund a replacement, and I’m glad today to have the public support from the MTA on our application for Federal funding.”
“Second only to safety, customer service and reliability are our top focus as we work to provide and improve daily train service,” said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giulietti. “We have heard the frustrations of our Connecticut customers, and the State’s highest elected leaders. Today we pledge to work together cooperatively to minimize any disruptions that may come from our operations of this bridge.”
The Walk Bridge is owned by the State of Connecticut. Under contract to Connecticut, Metro-North forces maintain the bridge and open and close it as required by the needs of marine traffic.