Failures prompt push for funds to replace Metro-North swing bridge
After recent failures, the days of an ailing 118-year-old Metro-North swing bridge are numbered, officials said Monday.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and transit officials will push for $460 million in federal funds to replace the Norwalk River’s “Walk Bridge,” which failed twice in the last few weeks and snarled traffic on the New Haven Line.
“This should have been done a long, long time ago,” Malloy said.
The Connecticut bridge, which pivots on a central axis, failed to go back in place Friday afternoon after letting boats pass, causing service disruptions. The bridge also caused delays on May 29.
The bridge underwent its last major rehabilitation in the early 90s. Plans for another overhaul in 2008 were dropped because of a lack of funding.
Connecticut seeks to replace the bridge with storm resiliency funds and would have to pay for over $100 million of the cost. The bridge is currently undergoing work that won’t protect the bridge from future storm damage, Malloy said.
Replacing the bridge – once funds are secured – could take three years at best, Malloy said. Crews would have to work with trains still using the bridge.
“This is not like building a house,” he said.
In the meantime, officials said they will try to limit bridge openings to less than 5 times a week – how often it currently opens – and will work to find other ways to decrease failures.
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