An environmental group in Norwalk, Connecticut, has sued the state and federal governments over a plan to replace the century-old Walk Bridge over the Norwalk River.
The Walk Bridge is a moveable railroad bridge. It swings out so that boats may pass underneath. But it has repeatedly malfunctioned and remained stuck in the out position, which has caused major delays for commuters on Amtrak and Metro-North.
The Connecticut and U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Authority propose replacing it with a vertical lift bridge.
But local environmentalists have filed a lawsuit to stop it. Fred Krupp, a member of the Norwalk Harbor Keepers, says they don’t need a new $1 billion moveable bridge because there’s very little boat traffic on the river. And all of those boats can fit under a fixed bridge.
“A fixed bridge, either the existing bridge welded shut or a new bridge at the same height, would be far less damaging to the environment, far less costly to taxpayers in the state of Connecticut, and far less disruptive to the East Norwalk and South Norwalk businesses and residents. A fixed bridge just makes sense.”
Connecticut DOT spokesman Judd Everhart told the Norwalk Hour that he was looking into the suit, and could not yet comment.
But other state and federal officials say their proposal will have no significant impact on the environment.
The project is expected to begin next year.