NORWALK, Conn. – Mechanical problems during an overnight test of the equipment on the Walk Bridge in South Norwalk was to blame for the delays Thursday morning on Metro-North's New Haven Line, according to a statement on Metro-North's website .
The failure occurred during testing at 3:30 a.m. Thursday. The 117-year-old bridge over the harbor between East Norwalk and South Norwalk was unable to close due to the mechanical failure, preventing New Haven Line trains from crossing.
An investigation into the cause is underway, Metro-North said, apologizing for the lengthy delays.
Eastbound service from Stamford was suspended, and limited shuttle service was available between East Norwalk and South Norwalk for westbound commuters.
Temporary repairs to the Walk Bridge were made before 9 a.m. Thursday and train service was restored, however, congestion from the failure caused delays throughout much of the morning.
“The failure of the Walk Bridge in Norwalk causing yet another significant service delay for rail commuters this morning further underscores the urgent need for immediate investment in our aging rail infrastructure," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). "I support the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s effort to secure federal Sandy Resiliency Project funds to repair this 117-year old bridge and other critical, dated infrastructure along the New Haven Metro-North Line. I will do everything I can to support this application, and to urge the Federal Transit Administration to expedite its decision and funding ahead of its stated fall deadline. Connecticut commuters simply cannot wait for safe, reliable rail service.”
Earlier this spring the state announced plans for a $465 million project to replace the Walk Bridge. Federal funding would provide $349 million and $116 million would come from state funding.
The money would be used for design, engineering, environmental clearance and construction to replace the structure.