Press Releases

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All

  1. What projects make up the Walk Bridge Program?
  2. When did construction begin on the Program?
    • The Danbury Branch Dockyard Project and the CP243 Interlocking Project began construction in 2017 and are anticipated to be completed in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
    • The Walk Bridge Program is being developed and constructed in phases to maintain rail service and reduce impacts to the public. The schedule of the Walk Bridge Program including design, rights of way and construction, are currently being updated.
  3. When will construction begin on the Walk Bridge project and what is the cost?
    • Construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2022, pending approval of a series of permits.

    • The total cost of the Walk Bridge Program including design, rights of way and construction, are currently being updated.

     

  4. Why is it called "Walk Bridge" and why does it need to be replaced?

    While commonly referred to as the "Walk Bridge" by the public, the structure’s official name is the "Norwalk River Railroad Bridge, Bridge No. 04288R, MP 41.5". Over time, "Norwalk River Bridge" was shortened to the "Walk Bridge" that is commonly used today. Similarly, the movable "Saga" bridge in Westport refers to the Saugatuck River over which the rail line passes.

    As a part of Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line, the bridge is a critical link in the busiest rail corridor in the nation, the Northeast Corridor, connecting Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. The bridge has outlived its intended life span by more than two decades and needs to be replaced. The existing bridge suffers from a system-wide degradation of the bridge structure, significant wear of mechanical systems and obsolete electrical systems leading to unexpected maintenance costs, operational failures and emergency repairs.

  5. What is the design of the new Walk Bridge and why was it selected?
    • The Program is replacing the existing bridge with a 240’ Span Vertical Lift Bridge. The “240’ Span” indicates the length of the bridge, not the height. For the new movable span to meet the reasonable needs of navigation (60’ clearance) when fully raised, the top of the lift span towers is placed approximately 150’ above the top of railroad tracks.

    • The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) evaluated more than 70 replacement design variations prior to selecting the 240’ Span Vertical Lift Bridge. The alternatives assessed fell within the following categories:
      • No Build (no action)
      • Rehabilitation
      • Fixed-Bridge Replacement
      • Movable-Bridge Replacement
    • Representative options in each category were evaluated against factors such as local impacts, construction duration, impacts to rail service, and cohesion with the project’s purpose & need.
    • While each alternative has varying impacts, there is no viable alternative that results in a markedly shorter construction timeframe or significantly fewer construction impacts than the 240’ Span Vertical Lift Bridge preferred alternative. Learn more about design alternatives here.
    • In addition to meeting the project’s purpose & need, this design provides the following benefits:
      • Shortest construction of the movable options.
      • Fewest environmental impacts of the evaluated options.
      • Maintaining two-track service and minimizing rail service impacts during construction.
      • Fewest disruptions to Norwalk River waterway users.
      • Designed to withstand extreme weather events.
  6. How long will construction of the Walk Bridge Replacement take? How will construction progress?
    • Construction on the Walk Bridge is estimated to take 5 - 6 years.
    • The first year consists mostly of in-water work and establishing the construction staging areas. This includes demolition of the IMAX theater and relocation of the railroad power lines underground. The Program then removes the existing high towers and constructs the lift towers for the new Walk Bridge. Construction of the two southern tracks will follow. The Walk Bridge’s southern half approaches are constructed and the southern lift span is built off-site and floated-in, to be installed over an extended weekend. The existing swing span (all four tracks) is simultaneously removed and floated north for demolition. The Program would then open the two new southern tracks and begin work on the northern half of the bridge. This work mirrors the southern half and extends into year(s) five and/or six. The completion of the northern and southern halves of the bridges at Fort Point Street, East Avenue, and Osborne Avenue will coincide with track outages for the Walk Bridge.

     

  7. What construction method is being applied to the Walk Bridge Replacement Project?
    • CTDOT is employing a Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) process. CM/GC is an innovative project delivery method where the contractor acts as Construction Manager during design and advises CTDOT on schedule, phasing, constructability, materials availability, risk and cost. This integrated team approach, involving the Contractor early in the project, adds value by reducing construction duration, reducing impacts, improving construction sequencing and reducing risk.
    • See the full Program Team here.
  8. What environmental documentation has taken place for the Program?
    • The Walk Bridge Replacement Project underwent an Environmental Assessment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and an Environmental Impact Evaluation (EA/EIE) in accordance with the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA). The goal of this environmental review was to promote informed decision-making by considering a range of reasonable alternatives and analysis leading to selection of a preferred alternative.
    • On July 17, 2017, the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Walk Bridge Replacement project in compliance with NEPA. By doing so, FTA has determined that further evaluation is not required under NEPA.
    • Under the CEPA process, CTDOT submitted a Record of Decision (ROD) to the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) in June 2017; and in a letter dated July 6, 2017 OPM determined that the EA/EIE satisfies the requirements of CEPA for this project.
    • Separate environmental reviews have been completed for the CP243 Interlocking and Danbury Branch Dockyard Projects.
  9. Is the Program coordinating with neighboring construction projects?

    Coordination with other projects takes place throughout the Walk Bridge Program with the goal of reducing construction impacts for residents, businesses and commuters. CTDOT and the Walk Bridge Program team meet regularly with municipal leaders, private developers and project sponsors to coordinate with other planned construction projects. A listing of these projects can be found on our related projects map.

  10. How can I learn more about the Program, have additional questions answered or get involved?
    • The Walk Bridge Program is coordinating closely with numerous community stakeholders including the City of Norwalk, Norwalk Harbor Management and Shellfish Commissions, Marine Police, local neighborhood groups and associations, the business community, local transit organizations, historical groups, rowing clubs, residents, commuters, arts organizations, schools, and more. If you would like to schedule a meeting for your group or organization, please contact the Public Information Team.
    • Comments or questions about the Walk Bridge Program can be submitted via our website or at info@walkbridgect.com and by phone 1-833-GO2-WALK (1-822-462-9255). Sign up for email alerts to receive Program notifications, public meeting notices and weekly Construction News updates.
    • The Program hosts virtual public and stakeholder meetings, participates in community events and posts information on our social media accounts. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

page top