New lift-bridge will bring reliability and redundancy to key NEC rail link
NORWALK, CT (June 14, 2023) – The Norwalk River Railroad (WALK) Bridge Replacement Project officially began construction on May 14 with a groundbreaking ceremony led by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. HNTB is the designer of record for the replacement bridge and is also responsible for environmental documentation and permitting for the project.
The WALK Bridge is a crucial connection along the Northeast Corridor, accommodating approximately 175 daily Metro-North New Haven Line and Amtrak trains. Due to the bridge’s age and resulting operational issues causing frequent service disruptions, the Governor and CTDOT decided that a full replacement was necessary, as rehabilitating the bridge was not a viable option. HNTB initially evaluated the rehabilitation possibility and was subsequently selected to design the new bridge.
“HNTB is recognized for its expertise in planning, designing and constructing complex span and movable bridges, making us a trusted partner to various transit and rail providers and transportation departments nationwide,” said Christian Brown, HNTB’s project manager and national rail and movable bridge program leader. “Our long-term partnership with CTDOT is the direct result of their confidence in the firm’s abundance of subject matter experts and the entire firm’s dedication to successfully delivering for our clients.”
The new bridge will consist of two independent, movable spans, each measuring 240 feet in length, and is designed and constructed to withstand extreme weather events, ensuring resilience and sustainability. Once complete, the new bridge will eliminate a speed restriction, enabling trains to travel at speeds 15 miles per hour faster while also providing improved reliability and flexibility for the traveling public. The new WALK Bridge is the centerpiece of CTDOT’s ambitious WALK Bridge Program that will bring improvements to century-old commuter rail infrastructure. HNTB has already completed the environmental documentation, permitting, and bridge design and will continue to provide design services throughout the construction phase. The project is expected to be completed in 2029. For more information, visit walkbridgect.com.
Media Note: For photos of the groundbreaking event, please contact CTDOT Spokesperson Josh Morgan at Josh.Morgan@ct.gov.