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Engineers comb Norwalk’s Walk Bridge to assess problems, create repair plan

NORWALK, Conn. – A Short Term Action Team (STAT) descended on Norwalk’s Walk Bridge Monday to start assessing the problems that have caused bridge breakdowns and the resultant chaos on the rail lines of the Northeast Corridor.

The bridge failed to close properly on June 6 after opening to allow boat traffic through. The failure halted Metro-North and Amtrak traffic for hours and sent rail passengers into the streets to find alternative ways around the bridge and to their destinations. It was the second failure in nine days.

The team began collecting data on the interaction of mechanical components within the structure as well as inspecting virtually all of the moving parts of the bridge. STAT’s intent is to review, investigate and determine next steps, all to be taken in the near term, to improve the bridge’s mechanical reliability, according to a prepared statement from the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

The Walk Bridge swings open on May 25 before it became a major issue for Gov. Dannel Malloy.

“While preliminary design has begun for the replacement of the 118-year old Walk Bridge, we need to take immediate steps to ensure its reliability,” said CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker. “At Gov. Malloy’s urging, I am empowering our STAT team to take whatever actions are necessary to make sure that we can count on the bridge to open and close as needed, without any glitches.”

The STAT team consists of CTDOT engineers and bridge inspectors, Metro-North engineers, and consultant bridge inspectors and engineers. The team will continue to meet over the coming weeks and will provide recommendations within approximately 30 days on steps that can be taken, including short-term upgrades, to better improve the bridge’s reliability, the statement said.

“Key to curing the problem is finding out exactly why certain components failed to perform as they should have,” Redeker said. “I have every confidence that our STAT team will provide a clear picture and road map for us to move forward with in a tactical and fast-acting manner. There is a path forward here and we need to be on it as quickly as possible.”

The Walk Bridge is inspected routinely for structural soundness.  Despite recent mechanical ailments, the bridge is safe, the statement asserted.

CTDOT, Metro-North and U.S. Coast Guard officials agreed bridge openings would be severely restricted until emergency repairs can be made.

Comments

3 responses to “Engineers comb Norwalk’s Walk Bridge to assess problems, create repair plan”

  1. Here’s an alternative to having CT pay for the repairs: Sell the whole mess to Uncle Sam for $1

    http://touch.courant.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-80519674/

    JIM CAMERON

  2. piberman

    Aren’t we fortunate that Gov Malloy has stood tall and said it happened under his watch so he’s responsible. And here’s my plan for immediate repair. Even loyal Democrats are embarrassed by the Governor’s ducking and hiding. But he did much better with state finances. Standing with his real friends – public unions. Lucky us.

  3. Aunt Bea

    Anyone remember the tin man? So, did any of these specialists STAT guys bring an oil can?

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