The Walk Bridge Program consists of several inter-related rail and infrastructure projects in Norwalk, CT. The centerpiece of the Program is the replacement of the 125-year-old Norwalk River Railroad (Walk) Bridge. The new bridge enhances the safety and reliability of rail service, offers operational flexibility and provides for increased capacity and efficiencies of rail transportation along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), while maintaining and improving navigational capacity and dependability in the Norwalk River.
Follow the links below to learn more about the major Program projects.
The existing 125-year-old, deteriorating railroad bridge that carries four tracks over the Norwalk River will be replaced with a two-span, vertical lift bridge.
A four-track interlocking system installed on the New Haven Line near Norden Place provides greater service flexibility by allowing trains to easily switch from one track to another.
Newly installed and electrified railroad tracks on the Danbury Branch allow trains traveling to/from Grand Central Terminal to be redirected back to New York without utilizing the New Haven mainline tracks. Infrastructure upgrades include a replacement of the Ann Street railroad bridge, revitalized dockyard area and new catenary structures.
The existing bridge is replaced and the support structure is rehabilitated to improve infrastructure and maintain reliable rail operations.
The Advance Utilities Project consists of undergrounding utilities located between Winfield Street and Olmstead Place, on East Avenue in East Norwalk, CT. The utility upgrades are needed as part of the East Avenue Bridge and Roadway improvements project.
The East Avenue railroad bridge is replaced and accompanied by improvements to the roadway, sidewalks and East Norwalk Train Station.
The Fort Point Street Bridge is replaced and Fort Point Street is realigned with S. Smith Street, increasing safety and improving visibility for drivers and pedestrians
*The Fort Point Street, East Avenue and Osborne Avenue projects are completed simultaneously with the Walk Bridge Replacement to take advantage of scheduled track outages and streamline work. This approach reduces rail disruptions, lowers costs and shortens construction durations.
The Program’s comprehensive approach improves elements beyond the railroad and local roads. The Program seeks to protect Norwalk’s beautiful waterfront through wetland preservation, while expanding waterfront access through the addition of bike and pedestrian trails and a new city dock. Educational panels are placed along the river to enrich the enjoyment of Norwalk’s natural landscapes. The Norwalk River is dredged as part of the Walk Bridge Program, preventing the riverbanks from becoming stagnant and preserving the attractiveness of Norwalk’s waterfront.
The collective work under the Walk Bridge program boosts economic development through infrastructure investment, the protection of potential up-river development, increased railroad reliability and reduced road congestion for residents, commuters and tourists. The Program has enhanced one of Norwalk’s most notable tourist attractions, the Maritime Aquarium. The Aquarium received upgrades to its exhibits while the IMAX Theater was replaced with a state-of-the-art 4D theater, built to the north of the Aquarium in 2021. Another tourist attraction, The Lockwood-Mathews Museum, receives an educational exhibit on Norwalk’s railroading history and restoration of the historic fencing surrounding the property was completed in 2021.
Culture, education and community participation are important elements of the Program. The Walk Bridge Welcome Center serves as a focal point in Program partnerships with the Norwalk Community. The Program uses the space to offer an education program, using the Walk Bridge as a concrete example of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math in the real world. The Welcome Center facilitates partnerships with local arts organizations to provide exposure for local artists and add to Norwalk’s vibrant arts community.