July 25--The State Bond Commission is expected Friday to approve $3 million for immediate repairs to the faulty Walk Railroad Bridge that carries the Northeast Corridor rail line over the Norwalk River.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who chairs the commission, announced the docketing of the money in a release on Thursday afternoon. Once placed on the committee's agenda, requests approved by the governor usually pass.
The funds come after a rough summer over the Norwalk River. Metro-North trains were significantly delayed on two occasions in two weeks because of malfunctions of the 118-year-old bridge, which uses an antiquated swing system to allow high-clearance craft to pass through.
"The New Haven Line is the busiest commuter rail line in America and one malfunctioning bridge can disrupt the entire Northeast Corridor. Because our customers -- and our economy -- rely on this system every day, we are implementing these fixes to increase reliability in the near term until the full replacement of the Walk Bridge can begin," Malloy said in the release.
Accompanying the announcement was a report that documented the failures of the span and recommended short- and medium-term fixes. In April, Malloy asked the federal government for $360 million to replace the bridge.
James P. Redeker, the state's transportation commissioner, said that the money will fund a number of fixes, including electronic switches for the tracks on the bridge, a readjustment of poorly aligned gears and shafts, and the replacement of some of the rollers on which the span pivots.
The State Bond Commission, which meets Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building, is expected to approve more than $700 million in docketed bonding requests.
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