A Metro-North crew replacing sections of track on the Saugatuck railroad bridge on Wednesday. / Photo by Thane Grauel.
A Metro-North crew replacing sections of track on the Saugatuck railroad bridge on Wednesday. / Photo by Thane Grauel.

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — A Metro-North crew could be seen working on the railroad bridge over the Saugatuck River on Wednesday.

The 12-man team was hoisting railroad ties to a road-rail crane truck, which has flanged steel wheels in front so it can operate on railroad tracks.

A Metro-North spokesman said the crew was replacing miter rails, a specific type of rail used at the joints of movable bridges. Miter rails make it easier for the bridge to open for marine traffic, the spokesman said.

The bridge carries four sets of tracks over the river. Wednesday’s work was on the northernmost set of tracks.

A Metro-North crew replacing sections of track on the Saugatuck railroad bridge on Wednesday. / Photo by Thane Grauel.
A Metro-North crew replacing sections of track on the Saugatuck railroad bridge on Wednesday. / Photo by Thane Grauel.

The bridge opened in 1905, when the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was still around. It was succeeded by Penn Central, and then Metro-North.

It’s comparatively young compared to the Walk Bridge to the south, which carries the Northeast Corridor tracks over the Norwalk River. That was built in 1896, and is due to be replaced. Construction is to begin in spring 2023, according to a project website.

Thane Grauel, the Westport Journal executive editor, grew up in Westport and has been a journalist in Fairfield County and beyond more than three decades. Learn more about us here.