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Malloy Announces Plan to Replace Walk Bridge

Dignitaries strive for $465 million in state and federal funding

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Norwalk, CT | Added on October 02, 2014 At 07:38 PM

Governor Dannel Malloy announced Thursday (ConnDOT) the Connecticut Department of Transportation's plan to close a $188 million funding gap for the full replacement of Norwalk's 118-year-old Walk Bridge.   

"We have set aside, we have appropriated, we have had the federal government appropriate the total of $465 million so that this project can be completed," said Gov. Dannel Malloy. "When it is done this project will be funded with 34 percent state funds and 66 percent federal funds and of that I am proud." 

The federal government recently awarded ConnDOT $161 million for infrastructure, which combined with existing state funds gives Connecticut about $277 million to put toward the total replacement cost.   

"The reason that there is a big federal grant coming to fix this bridge is because Washington is convinced for the first time in over a decade that Connecticut is serious about putting money into transportation," said Sen. Chris Murphy. 

The Walk Bridge has caused major concerns this summer when it failed to close on two separate incidents within a two weeks, delaying the Metro-North New Haven line train for hours.  

"This rail route is the busiest in the country. It deserves better and so does Connecticut and we're going to get it as a result of this resiliency money," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

The current bridge will be replaced with a more resilient vertical lift bridge that opens for marine traffic from one side with a counterweight system.  

Starting in 2016 through 2018 additional funding sources will provide  $188 million needed for the project. 

"This money has not come easily," said Blumenthal. "There is a vehement, voracious demand for money funding transportation and we have put Connecticut at the forefront." 

Federal Transit Administration will support the project with approximately $146 million with a state matching requirement of $36.5 million over three years for a total of $182.5 million. 

An $68 million of state bond funds over the three year period are programmed as state over match to complete the WALK Finance Plan and provide the project's total cost of $465 million. 

"It's going to take many years of planning and construction for it to be replaced," said commuter advocate Jim Cameron.  "This is the beginning of a process that is going to last perhaps up to a decade and I think commuters have to manage their expectations. 

Malloy says during the construction period there will be additional work on other bridges along the New Haven line. 


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