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Metro-North Looks To Be Back On Track Sunday After Bridge Problems, Delays

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. — Regular train service was expected to return Sunday following massive delays along the New Haven Line for much of Saturday after the Walk Bridge in Norwalk failed to close properly, Metro-North announced.

Train service was halted in both directions through Norwalk for a few hours after the bridge failure at about 2:30 p.m. After repairs were made, trains were able to run on one track across the bridge, Metro-North said. But delays of up to 90 minutes had continued through the early evening.

But by late Saturday, New Haven Line train service had resumed on three of the four tracks over the bridge. Delays of up to 20 minutes were continuing for the reminder of Saturday night, Metro-North said.

The fourth track was out of service to repair damage to the overhead catenary wires, Metro-North said.

The bridge will remain closed to river traffic until further notice, Metro-North said. Metro-North spokesman Sal Arena said it was not clear why the bridge had failed to close properly.

The problem began at about 2:30 p.m. when the bridge failed to close properly after swinging open to allow marine traffic through. One track was restored just after 5 p.m., but trains were delayed up to 90 minutes through the area.

Due to the damage, Metro-North also had to cancel New York service at the South Norwalk, Rowayton, Darien and Noroton Heights stations. Trains on the Danbury Branch were also stopped at the Merritt 7 station, with passengers switching to substitute bus service to Stamford to get back on a train. The connecting service was to continue for the rest of Saturday.

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, complaints and headaches.

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

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