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Monday, June 09, 2014

Sudden Metro-North ‘Crisis’ Followed Decades of Neglect

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy held a “crisis summit” today at Metro-North, but the surest time for preventing the latest service interruption on nation’s busiest commuter railroad most likely passed a decade ago during the waning days of the administration of Gov. John G. Rowland.

WestportNow.com Image
Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti addresses a New York news conference on the Walk Bridge today as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (l) and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast listen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Patrick Cashin/ Metropolitan Transportation Authority photo

The newest source of Metro-North’s angst is one very old bridge: the 118-year-old Walk Bridge, a 564-feet long swing bridge across the Norwalk River that’s stalled in the open position twice in recent weeks. It is a monument to commuter frustration and deferred maintenance.

“The bridge didn’t turn 118 years old in the blink of an eye,” said Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Nor can it be replaced in a blink.

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