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Sunday, June 08, 2014

Talking Transportation: The Billion Dollars Bridges

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Twice in recent days, all Metro-North (and Amtrak) train service was disrupted for three hours in peak travel times because of one broken bridge: the 117-year-old Norwalk River Bridge in the city of the same name. 

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Because this swing-bridge is so old and in such bad shape, it wouldn’t close, severing all train service and forcing replacement bus shuttles incapable of handling the crowds. These are but the most recent problems on this bridge, and they won’t be the last.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says this is “outrageous” and is calling for a sit-down with Metro-North. (Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall at that bully-session?)

What the governor doesn’t admit is that Connecticut is responsible for that bridge, not the railroad. Any reasonable civil engineer (and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) has many) would have replaced that bridge decades ago.

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