HARTFORD, Conn. – U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed outrage over a malfunctioning 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk that delayed commuters at least twice in the past two weeks, and called for restrictions on bridge openings until a permanent solution is affected.
At a press conference in Hartford Monday morning, Blumenthal said every time the bridge built in 1896 gets stuck it disrupts train travel an average of 90 minutes. However, in the two most recent incidents it remained stuck for three hours and five hours respectively.
In 2013, the bridge failed 16 times, which is about a 6 percent fail rate. The bridge was opened 271 times that year, according to Blumenthal.
“One way or another this 118-year-old bridge is susceptible to these malfunctions in the short-term there need to be repairs and better maintenance,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal is calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to reduce and restrict the times that the Walk Bridge in Norwalk is opened. Blumenthal said the U.S. Coast Guard has the ability to keep the bridge closed and it’s unclear at the moment what commercial marine traffic uses the bridge.
He said he’s asked the mayor of Norwalk to inform him exactly what commercial interests may be involved in requesting the opening of the bridge.