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Aging, broken infrastructure frustrates Metro-North riders

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Aging and broken public works have again plagued the Metro-North Railroad in Connecticut.

The Devon Movable Bridge, built in 1904, carries trains on the New Haven line, Waterbury branch, Amtrak and Shore Line East. It got stuck in the open position Wednesday, forcing officials to use another span, slowing commutes into and out of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

The state is targeting for replacement four moveable bridges on the New Haven line. They include the Devon bridge and a Norwalk span stuck in the open position twice last year.  The Walk Bridge was built in 1896.

A Greenwich bridge over the Mianus River and Saga Bridge over the Saugatuck River also are eyed for replacement.

A state transportation spokesman says more track repairs are required before trains can cross Devon bridge next week.


Costs related to the Walk Bridge are about $400 million, while costs to replace the other bridges have not been detailed. Replacement work is not expected for several years.  The state budget approved by the legislature will include a $2.8 billion increase for infrastructure over the next five years, including $1.77 billion for rail, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.


The failure of the Walk and Devon bridges is a "wake up call" to state transportation officials, said state Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton.


Her constituents are "ballistic," she said. "They have suffered for so long."

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Todd Schnitt

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