Bridge halts commute on Metro-North, again

NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) — Call it a troubled bridge over not-so-troubled waters.

For the second time in less than two weeks, the 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk became stuck in the open position, stifling train service for some four hours in the middle of Friday rush hour.

In short, Metro-North and Amtrak riders have had enough.

“Metro-North is a terrible company,” said Stephen Gibson. “They haven’t maintained anything and it’s always a nightmare.”

“Why open the bridge during the day?” said commuter Paula Daniel. “You know we’re commuting during the day, open the bridge during the nighttime.”

“I thought I was going to save some time by taking the train instead of the plane,” said Amtrak commuter Victor Ramos.

The Walk Bridge in Norwalk on May 29, 2014.
The Walk Bridge in Norwalk on May 29, 2014.

Shuttle buses ferried riders around the problem bridge. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it was sending some 24 buses to transport commuters.

On scene, News 8 spoke with commuter Indigo Pellegrini of New Canaan, who opted for a ride from dad.

“It’s been pretty traumatic for some people — I’m fine,” she said. “Probably people who have jobs must be annoyed.”

The swing bridge has halted train service at least four times in the past three years. It also failed to close just last week when it took about five hours to fully restore service.

In that case, the bridge became stuck during overnight testing. Metro-North, Amtrak, and some Shore Line East trains were affected. Like Friday, buses were used to transport passengers around the bridge, and trains were combined.

Before full service was restored about 7:30 p.m. Friday, Governor Malloy issued a statement that called for a “crisis summit” with the MTA and Metro-North to discuss the continuing bridge failure. Malloy called the situation “outrageous,” saying thousands of passengers were left stranded. He said replacing the bridge is an “absolute necessity.”

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