Walk Bridge in South Norwalk getting much-needed replacement
The Walk Bridge in South Norwalk, one of America's oldest railroad bridges, is finally getting replaced.
Local and state leaders Friday spoke about the changes coming.
"The day that we've all been waiting for is finally here," said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.
They say the current span built in 1896 that is a critical link on the Northeast Corridor has run its course.
"This rail line behind us that defines Connecticut is both our greatest strength but at times one of our greatest liabilities," said Sen. Chris Murphy.
Many times the bridge has gotten stuck in the open position, delaying commuters for days. Sen. Richard Blumenthal recalled that it was stuck 16 out of 271 times in one year alone.
Rusted out girders will be replaced by a structure with two independent movable spans designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions. It's a design years in the making.
"You slow down when you go over this bridge, and that slows down commerce, that slows down what we're trying to do in this state," said Gov. Ned Lamont.
Work will begin from the bottom up. Train travel speeds are expected to jump 15 mph faster.
"This asset, a national asset, is what allows us to compete globally. So that's why this is so important," said Murphy.
"We have all here been working together towards this common vision that will benefit the riders of the New Haven Line. It is the busiest line by far," said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi.
Preliminary work on the project is expected to start over the next few months. The $925 million project also includes three other bridges up the line.
The project is expected to be completed by 2029. It is 80% federally funded.