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Sunday, October 13 Local

Bridge strike in Norwalk delaying trains

Metro-North is reporting delays up to 10 minutes after a vehicle struck a railroad bridge in South Norwalk on Monday morning.

After a bridge is struck, Metro-North has speeds travel at reduced speeds until the bridge can be inspected for damage.

System wide, bridge strikes are roughly a daily occurrence for Metro-North Railroad. Structural damage and track realignment can occur whenever an over-height vehicle strikes a railroad bridge. To ensure safety, a temporary 15 mph speed restriction is put into place along the bridge until a bridge inspector is dispatched to ensure the integrity of the bridge and tracks.

Metro-North has four bridges — Fenimore Road and Mamaroneck Avenue, both in Mamaroneck, N.Y., as well as Westchester Avenue and King Street, both in Port Chester, N.Y. — that are equipped with accelerometers and communications equipment. When a bridge strike occurs, the railroad receives an email with a graphic indication of the severity of the strike. Metro-North plans to expand the program to include an additional eight bridges, all in New York, according to the railroad.

While such bridge strikes are primarily the concern of the railroad, local police are also engaged whenever an incident occurs. That includes the Washington Street Bridge that has been struck numerous times.

The Norwalk Department of Public Works and state and federal governments hope to reduce such strikes at the span in South Norwalk by installing an “Over-Height Vehicle Detection System.”

While large trucks also strike the Metro-North bridge above East Avenue in Norwalk, the strikes aren’t as frequent as those occurring at the Washington Street bridge.

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