Originally built in 1896, the Walk Bridge is a four-track railroad bridge that spans the Norwalk River and serves as a critical link on the Northeast Corridor, connecting major cities such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. It is one of the oldest movable bridges in the region, and in recent years it has shown its age, failing to close on several occasions and significantly disrupting travel on the New Haven Line, the busiest rail line in the country.
Having outlived its useful life, federal and state officials determined the necessity to replace the bridge and designed a new one that is focused on enhancing the safety, reliability, and ease of travel throughout Norwalk and beyond with vital improvements and upgrades to the railroad infrastructure. This bridge replacement project promotes economic development through infrastructure investment, the protection of potential up-river development, and reduced roadway congestion.
The new bridge will be a redundant structure with two independent, movable spans that are designed and constructed to be resilient and sustainable for extreme weather events. When completed, a speed restriction over the bridge will be eliminated, allowing for trains to travel at speeds that are 15 miles per hour faster.
The $925 million construction project is approximately 80 percent federally funded and 20 percent state funded. It is expected to be completed in 2029.
“The original Walk Bridge was created during the administration of President Grover Cleveland, and now 127 years later during the administration of President Joe Biden we are replacing it with a modernized bridge that will be strengthened and fully capable of serving the busiest rail line in the nation," Lamont said. "This corridor is a critical link for rail travel in the Northeast and is essential to supporting economic growth and jobs in Connecticut. This project ticks all the boxes. It helps achieve our goal of faster rail service, reduces traffic on our roadways, promotes economic development, and protects environmental and historic preservation.”
“The importance of the Walk Bridge Project is clear," Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. "By increasing the safety, reliability, and resiliency of our rail infrastructure through this project, we are connecting residents — not just in Norwalk but all along the Northeast Corridor — with Connecticut’s beautiful communities and attractions. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make today possible, and I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition.”
“Projects like the Walk Bridge are at the heart of what we do," Eucalitto said. "A new Walk Bridge enhances the safety and reliability of rail service, offers operational flexibility, and provides for increased capacity, speed, and efficiencies of rail transportation along the Northeast Corridor. The strong partnerships we have with Amtrak and Metro-North, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration, and the unwavering support of our local, state, and federal officials have allowed us to get this project moving forward.”
“Rebuilding the Walk Bridge is absolutely essential to rail travel all along the East Coast, but particularly in Connecticut," U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said. "This new, state-of-the-art lift bridge will ensure safe and reliable rides. Bringing Connecticut’s transportation into the 21st century is vital to our economy and quality of life, and I am deeply proud to have fought for the funds that are making it possible.”
“It took a lot of hard work to get the federal funding in place to get this project done, but the Walk Bridge is a key link in the Northeast Corridor and its replacement is long overdue," U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said. "A new and improved Walk Bridge will cut commute times, reduce traffic, and promote even more economic development in South Norwalk. Today is just the beginning, and that’s why I fought for historic amounts of rail funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make sure we get this project across the finish line.”
“Today is a great day for Connecticut," U.S. Representative Jim Himes said. "I fought tooth and nail for this funding because Norwalk’s Walk Bridge is indispensable infrastructure. It gets people to their jobs, keeps our supply chains moving, and serves as a vital connection for cities across the Northeast region. Thanks to federal dollars, the sorely-needed reconstruction efforts can begin. I look forward to continued collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the City of Norwalk as we see this major project to completion in a timely and efficient manner.”
“A new, modern Walk Bridge will improve the customer experience by eliminating delays, providing faster journeys, and updating critical infrastructure on the nation’s busiest railroad," Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said, "We are proud to support CTDOT and thank our champions of rail in Governor Lamont, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, and USDOT for advancing this project and our new era of passenger rail.”
“We greatly value our wonderful partnerships at the federal and state level, including our long-standing relationship with CTDOT," said Catherine Rinaldi, MTA Metro-North Railroad President and Long Island Rail Road Interim President. "This project will result in better, more reliable service for our customers and represents another step forward in the common pursuit of safe, efficient, and sustainable rail transportation that meets the needs of the modern traveler.”