The BlogJam

Southwestern Connecticut traffic updates from the staff at Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Bridge fixed; service resumes on Metro-North

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A railroad swing bridge over the Norwalk River became stuck in the open position for five hours Thursday morning, causing major delays for rail travelers in Connecticut.

The Walk Bridge, which rotates to allow large boats on the river to pass, failed to close just after 4 a.m., said Meredith Daniels, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates Metro-North Railroad.

“It’s a 117-year old bridge, and they are having problems with the gears and wedges on it,” she said.

Trains were stopped at various points along the line, and the railroad ran limited shuttle bus service between East Norwalk and South Norwalk, while crews worked to close the bridge.

The railroad was force to suspend eastbound service from Stamford, while only limited westbound trains were available from South Norwalk, Daniels said. The problem also caused delays on Amtrak, which uses the Metro-North tracks.

The repairs were completed just before 9 a.m. Delays of more than an hour were reported during the morning rush hour, and normal service was not expected for several hours as trains that had been stopped made their way through the area.

The swing bridge was built in 1896, and Daniels said it has been the source of problems in the past.

“Sometimes these things take an hour and a half to fix, sometimes they take hours,” she said.

In April, the state applied for $349 million in federal transportation funding to help replace the bridge. The request was part of a $600 million grant request to improve Connecticut’s aging rail infrastructure.

Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said in an email Thursday that the governor believes “federal investment along the entire Northeast rail corridor is long overdue.” A railroad swing bridge over the Norwalk River became stuck in the open position for five hours Thursday morning, causing major delays for rail travelers in Connecticut.

UPDATE: 9:33 AM

There are still lingering delays along the rail line. As a precaution, trains are running slower across the Walk Bridge over the Norwalk River.

The 118-year-old swing bridge, which rotates to allow large boats on the river to pass, failed to close just after 4 a.m.

The bridge has been the source of past problems for the railroad.

The state is seeking $349 million in federal transportation funds to help replace it.

There are still long eastbound delays heading into New Haven.

To see if your train is on time, click here.

UPDATE: 9:03 AM

Metro-North: Please be advised that all repairs have been made to the Walk Bridge in Norwalk.  Train Service has been restored between South Norwalk and East Norwalk, however, customers should anticipate delays and crowded conditions due to significant congestion in the vicinity of South Norwalk.

UPDATE 8:39 AM

Heading to New York City today? Think again.

Here are the current delay times from Bridgeport to Grand Central Terminal:

worst

UPDATE 8:20 AM

Bridge is still broken while repairs continue. Crowds starting to thin out at some stations.

UPDATE: 8 AM

From MNRR: New Haven Line Customers please be advised that repair crews continue to work on closing the Walk Bridge near South Norwalk.

We are currently unable to provide Eastbound train service from Stamford.

Limited Westbound train service is being provided from South Norwalk.

Limited Shuttle Bus Service is currently being provided between East Norwalk and South Norwalk.

Customers should anticipate delays and crowded conditions.  Please see a representative at the station for assistance and listen to announcements.  We will provide further updates as they become available.

UPDATE: 7:58 AM

Delays getting longer.

bad

UPDATE 7:51 AM

Southbound I-95 traffic is jammed in Westport.

Southbound I-95 traffic is jammed in Westport.

Southbound traffic on I-95 and the Merritt Parkway is jammed.

On I-95 from Bridgeport to Norwalk, traffic is crawling in the teens.

It’s also jammed on the parkway from Trumbull to Norwalk.

UPDATE: 7:44 AM

Trains are being held in New Haven indefinately due to Metro-North bridge failure.

And no there are problems on the Waterbury Branch Line:

“Substitute Bus Service will be provided on the Waterbury Branch for the 8:02 AM train departing Bridgeport making all stops to Waterbury due to mechanical difficulties. Please listen for announcements at your station.”

UPDATE: 7:29 AM

Bridge in Norwalk remains stuck.

This same 117-year-old bridge had the same problem last June. Read the story HERE.

Reporter Martin Cassidy wrote a story about the problems with Metro-North’s aging bridges.

You can read it HERE.

UPDATE: 7: 13 AM

From reporter Frank Juliano on the scene in Norwalk:

RR employee, who wouldn’t give his name, says a gear on the bridge is stuck.

He’s not sure if bridge itself is stuck open. Buses will take passengers headed south to South Norwalk, where they will continue their trip.

People are waiting on the platform for northbound service. One train is being held at East Norwalk station and one is due in.

Those will provide northbound service from here and of course other trains can run between New Haven and East Norwalk.

UPDATE: 7:10

more delays

A railroad swing bridge over the Norwalk River became stuck in the open position for five hours Thursday morning, causing major delays for rail travelers in Connecticut.

The Walk Bridge, which rotates to allow large boats on the river to pass, failed to close just after 4 a.m., said Meredith Daniels, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates Metro-North Railroad.

“It’s a 117-year old bridge, and they are having problems with the gears and wedges on it,” she said.

Trains were stopped at various points along the line, and the railroad ran limited shuttle bus service between East Norwalk and South Norwalk, while crews worked to close the bridge.

The railroad was force to suspend eastbound service from Stamford, while only limited westbound trains were available from South Norwalk, Daniels said. The problem also caused delays on Amtrak, which uses the Metro-North tracks.

The repairs were completed just before 9 a.m. Delays of more than an hour were reported during the morning rush hour, and normal service was not expected for several hours as trains that had been stopped made their way through the area.

The swing bridge was built in 1896, and Daniels said it has been the source of problems in the past.

“Sometimes these things take an hour and a half to fix, sometimes they take hours,” she said.

In April, the state applied for $349 million in federal transportation funding to help replace the bridge. The request was part of a $600 million grant request to improve Connecticut’s aging rail infrastructure.

Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said in an email Thursday that the governor believes “federal investment along the entire Northeast rail corridor is long overdue.”

 

UPDATE: 7:03 AM

Latest update from Metro-North:

New Haven Line Service Alert: Mechanics are unable to close WALK Bridge near South Norwalk due to mechanical problems. We are currently unable to provide service between East Norwalk and South Norwalk. Crews are currently on site attempting to correct the problem.

Limited westbound (to New York) train service is being provided from South Norwalk. Limited shuttle bus service is being provided between East Norwalk and South Norwalk.

Customers should anticipate delays and crowded conditions.

UPDATE: 6:42 AM

The train is now a bus in East Norwalk. Photo by Frank Juliano.

The train is now a bus in East Norwalk. Photo by Frank Juliano.

MetroNorth's avatar
Metro-North Railroad @MetroNorth

cont Limited Shuttle Bus Service is currently being provided between ENorwalk and SoNo. Cust. should anticipate delays/crowded conditions.

FrankJuliano's avatar
Frank Juliano @FrankJuliano

Scene at East Norwalk Metro North station, where buses wait to take passengers beyond a stuck bridge.pic.twitter.com/B5BkyAdiSm

Media preview
VBenefico's avatar
Vincent Benefico @VBenefico

Another #MetroNorth mess. Train mobbed at Stamford due to drawbridge issue. Now making 3 extra stops!

UPDATE: 6:37 AM

Delays growing longer by the minute. Some as long as 45 minutes.

delays

  ?@benjaminstrong Me & my #MetroNorth commuter friends loaded up to S Norwalk

bUS

UPDATE: 6:19 AM

Delays are growing on Metro-North. Up to nearly 30 minutes.

Latest: Metro-North update:

New Haven Line Customers please be advised that repair crews continue to work on closing the Walk Bridge near South Norwalk.  We are currently unable to provide train service between East Norwalk and South Norwalk.  Limited Westbound train service is being provided from South Norwalk.  Limited Shuttle Bus Service is currently being provided between East Norwalk and South Norwalk. Customers should anticipate delays and crowded conditions.  Please see a representative at the station for assistance and listen to announcements.  We will provide further updates as they become available.

UPDATE 5:58 AM

A Metro-North Railroad train travels south on Walk bridge in Norwalk Tuesday, April 17, 2012. In snow and ice, as well as extremely hot weather, the state's four century-old moveable rail bridges are prone to getting stuck when they are opened to allow maritime traffic to pass.

A Metro-North Railroad train travels south on Walk bridge in Norwalk Tuesday, April 17, 2012. In snow and ice, as well as extremely hot weather, the state’s four century-old moveable rail bridges are prone to getting stuck when they are opened to allow maritime traffic to pass.

There are problems on the New Haven Line this AM.

New Haven Line Service Alert: “Mechanics are unable to close Walk Bridge near South Norwalk due to mechanical problems.

“We are currently unable to provide service between East Norwalk and South Norwalk and we are attempting to establish alternate means of transportation.

“Please check this website for updates. Customer Service representatives are at the station for assistance. Please listen for station announcements.”

The 117-year-old Walk bridge, the oldest movable span on Metro-North’s New Haven Line.

The 562-foot swing bridge between the South Norwalk and East Norwalk has became stuck in an open position before. On Oct. 9, 2011, it was stuck open for more than three hours. It forced the railroad to shuttle passengers by bus to the stations.

 

Categories: General
Jim Shay

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