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Malloy seeks summit on railroad bridge delays

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm •  Published: June 6, 2014
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NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called Friday for a "crisis summit" with the Metropolitan Transit Authority and Metro-North to discuss a continuing bridge failure problem in Norwalk, saying it's time to replace the 118-year-old rotating structure.

Metro-North and Amtrak train service was disrupted during the afternoon rush Friday because the Walk Bridge got stuck again in the open position, which allows boats to pass through along the Norwalk River. Passengers had to wait in long lines for bus service between South Norwalk and East Norwalk.

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

By early evening, MTA announced limited service was restored on two of the four tracks.

The century-old bridge also got stuck on May 29 and snarled travel for thousands of commuters during the morning rush.

Emilio Romero, of New Haven, told WVIT-TV that he got caught up in both bridge failure incidences. The commuter said he was delayed for hours on May 29. On Friday, he decided to have his wife pick him up.

"My day was going all right until it was time to come home," he said. "Somebody has to do something. We spend all this money on monthly passes."

Malloy said the recent failures "punctuate the absolute necessity for replacing this 118-year-old bridge — a central link to the entire Northeast Corridor," he said. "We simply cannot afford peak service disruptions like this."

In April, Malloy announced the state was applying for $600 million in federal transportation funding to help pay for projects along the New Haven Line. The state specifically requested $349 million to cover 75 percent of the cost to replace the Walk Bridge.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal issued a statement saying he will work to secure the federal funding.