Connecticut DOT unveils website for Walk Bridge replacement project

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has launched a new website for its Walk Bridge program, which calls for replacing a 120-year-old rail bridge over the Norwalk River.

The new website features project information, including meeting notices and construction updates. Although the replacement of the Walk Bridge isn’t scheduled to begin until mid-2018, the department is planning to complete three advance construction projects beforehand, CTDOT officials said in a press release.

The site provides information on these construction projects, as well.

The four-track Walk Bridge carries MTA Metro-North Railroad‘s New Haven line trains over the Norwalk River. It swings open and closed to accommodate commercial and recreational marine traffic on the river. When it fails to close properly, it can cause major disruptions to rail service in the Northeast Corridor, CTDOT officials said.

CTDOT has been meeting with local officials and key stakeholders throughout the past year to gather input and will continue to do as the project advances.

In late spring, construction is scheduled to begin on a series of related projects that are necessary before the bridge is replaced.

Those projects include:
• repairing fenders around the piers that protect the Walk Bridge and boats from damage in the event of a collision;
• adding track sidings, signal work and electrification to the southern end of Metro-North’s Danbury Branch; and
• constructing a new four-track interlocking to allow for two-track Metro-North operations during reconstruction.

The new Walk Bridge is in the preliminary design stage.

The Walk Bridge is used by Metro-North, Amtrak, CSX and Providence and Worcester Railroad. About 200 trains and 125,000 passengers cross the bridge each day. Ridership is projected to double by 2065, CTDOT officials said.

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