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Malloy Holds Crisis Summit With Metro-North Monday Afternoon

Gov. Dannel Malloy will meet with train officials Monday afternoon about problems with the Walk Bridge in Norwalk.
Gov. Dannel Malloy will meet with train officials Monday afternoon about problems with the Walk Bridge in Norwalk. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel Malloy will hold a crisis summit with officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metro-North on Monday afternoon to address the major disruptions in train service on the New Haven Line caused by problems with the Walk Bridge in Norwalk.

The meeting will be held at the MTA offices in Manhattan at 1 p.m.

Malloy had blasted the railroad Friday after Fairfield County commuters faced more than three of delays during rush hour because the WALK Bridge in Norwalk malfunctioned.

The bridge became stuck open at about 3:30 p.m. Friday after swinging open to allow boating traffic to get through, halting all trains between South Norwalk and East Norwalk.

"This was a regular opening for marine traffic on the Norwalk River," a Metro-North spokesman said.

“This is now the second major failure in two weeks, leaving thousands of passengers stranded and causing unacceptable delays. Let me be clear, this is outrageous," Malloy said.

"In speaking with MTA and Metro-North, my administration has stressed that every procedure, protocol and engineering solution must get the immediate attention of the most qualified team of experts. It is of the upmost importance that these operating, maintenance, alternative service and customer protocols be completely critiqued and that near term solutions be found to ensure reliable service for Connecticut commuters.

"It should be noted that these most recent failures punctuate the absolute necessity for replacing this 118-year-old bridge -- a central link to the entire Northeast Corridor. We simply cannot afford peak service disruptions like this, which is why we have requested and are aggressively pursuing federal Resiliency funding for this exact purpose.”

In April, Malloy announced that the State of Connecticut applied for $600 million in federal transportation funds to help cover the capital costs of three resiliency, or “hardening,” projects central to Connecticut’s commuter rail infrastructure along the New Haven Line.

Specifically, the state requested $349 million in federal funding to cover 75 percent of the cost of the WALK Bridge Replacement Project. Built in 1896, the WALK Bridge will be replaced it with a more resilient “bascule” bridge (which would open for marine traffic from one side with a counterweight system) will significantly enhance the safety and reliability of commuter and intercity passenger service along the Northeast Corridor.