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Better Walk Bridge Key To Fairfield County Development, Murphy Says

The Walk bridge carries Metro-North and Amtrak trains over the Norwalk River at the mouth of the Norwalk Harbor. It swings open to allow marine traffic to pass through.
The Walk bridge carries Metro-North and Amtrak trains over the Norwalk River at the mouth of the Norwalk Harbor. It swings open to allow marine traffic to pass through. Photo Credit: Walk Bridge website

NORWALK, Conn. — Economic development up and down the Metro-North corridor “is being held up” because of Norwalk’s Walk bridge, a malfunction-prone span that caused massive train delays over Memorial Day weekend, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said Tuesday. 

Murphy, who was visiting Fairfield County on Tuesday, said he considers the bridge “a project that has to get done.

“It’s a big project,” he said. “But we can’t sustain a bridge that’s over 100 years old.”

The Walk bridge, which carries Metro-North, Amtrak and freight trains over the Norwalk River, is nearly 120 years old.

The bridge, which swings open for marine traffic and then closes, has faced “operational issues” in recent years.

The aging bridge malfunctioned twice during daytime rush-hour travel times in summer 2014, failing to close properly and stranding hundreds of Metro-North riders along the New Haven Line and causing delays and complaints.

The state and Metro-North are considering options for the planned replacement of the bridge.

Speaking at a tour of Fairfield Metro train station, where officials hope to create a “transit-oriented” neighborhood, Murphy said maintaining reliable train service is vital to attracting business to the region.

Murphy has made transportation one of his key issues. In May, he met with Bridgeport leaders to discuss “Fed Up: Traffic on the I-95 Corridor,” a series of reports he’s compiling for area communities.

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