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Construction of New $935M WALK Bridge Over Norwalk River Begins

Thu September 07, 2023 - Northeast Edition #19
Ken Liebeskind -CEG Correspondent


The project calls for two independent two-track lift spans that will be built around the existing four-track swing bridge. The replacement bridge also will include 145-ft. tall towers that will lift each of the new spans approximately 60 ft.
(CTDOT photo)
The project calls for two independent two-track lift spans that will be built around the existing four-track swing bridge. The replacement bridge also will include 145-ft. tall towers that will lift each of the new spans approximately 60 ft. (CTDOT photo)
The project calls for two independent two-track lift spans that will be built around the existing four-track swing bridge. The replacement bridge also will include 145-ft. tall towers that will lift each of the new spans approximately 60 ft.
(CTDOT photo) The project will replace a 127-year-old swing bridge with a 240 ft. double lift span bridge.
(CTDOT photo) An early stage of the project is the removal of the IMAX theater building.
(CTDOT photo) Manafort Brothers is leading the demolition work.
(CTDOT photo) Removing the former IMAX building will facilitate access to the Norwalk River to construct staging platforms for the WALK Bridge Replacement Project.
(CTDOT photo) At least two tracks must be operational during construction.(CTDOT photo)

A groundbreaking ceremony took place in Norwalk in May for the beginning of a six-year $925 million project for the construction of a new WALK Bridge that crosses the Norwalk River.

The current bridge is a swing bridge that serves Metro North and Amtrak rail service along the Northeast Corridor and must have at least two tracks operational during construction.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) awarded the project to the Cianbro-Middlesex Joint Venture (JV), which links the Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield, Maine, with Middlesex Construction of Littleton, Mass.

Matt Riley, project manager at Cianbro, said the project replaces a 127-year-old swing bridge with a 240 ft. double lift span bridge.

According to CTDOT, the project calls for two independent two-track lift spans that will be built around the existing four-track swing bridge. The replacement bridge also will include 145-ft. tall towers that will lift each of the new spans approximately 60 ft.

The vertical lift span design maintains navigation on the Norwalk River and provides a widened, unobstructed channel alignment with the Stroffolino Bridge. The replacement bridge features two movable spans carrying two tracks each, which can be operated individually in case of a necessary track outage. The lift bridge's towers are 150 ft. above the level of the railroad tracks. This is nearly 100 ft. shorter than the existing high towers removed as part of the project.

Prominent aesthetic features include machine room enclosures at the top of the towers, arch design, enclosed staircases and elevators and decorative railing on the exterior walkways.

Josh Morgan, a CTDOT spokesperson, said work on the project that has been completed so far includes site preparation, mobilization of equipment, fencing and staging yard setup, hydrographic and pre-condition building surveys and baseline vibration monitoring.

An early stage of the project is the removal of the IMAX theater building. Manafort Brothers is leading the demolition work.

"Removing the former IMAX building will facilitate access to the Norwalk River to construct staging platforms for the WALK Bridge Replacement Project, as well as clear the area for construction of the utility bypass required to relocate the Metro-North Railroad [MNR] wires from the existing high towers," said Morgan.

Riley said the construction equipment being used on the project includes Liebherr LR1300 and Manitowoc 2250 and MLC-300 crawler cranes and a Buma C4268h oscillator.

The remaining construction phases will begin in the spring, summer and fall of 2025, including removing the high towers and the existing bridge structure before constructing the new lift bridge and approach spans.

According to CTDOT, federal funds will pay for 80 percent of the WALK Bridge construction with 20 percent coming from the state. CEG




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