Description: Challenge to environmental review for railroad bridge replacement project in Norwalk, Connecticut, alleging failure to conduct adequate resiliency analysis.
Norwalk Harbor Keeper v. U.S. Department of Transportation
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/18/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Filed Challenging Resiliency Analysis for Railroad Bridge in Connecticut. A local conservation organization filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Connecticut challenging the environmental review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act for the Norwalk River Railroad Bridge replacement project in Norwalk, Connecticut. The organization contended that the defendant agencies had failed to consider the reasonable alternative of a fixed bridge at the level of the existing swing bridge. The organization alleged that the fixed bridge alternative would promote resiliency to climate change and severe weather events, and particularly to heatwaves, which the complaint alleged could cause rail tracks to expand, buckle, and warp and potentially prevent proper closure of the bridge and lead to the need for track repairs and speed restrictions. The organization asserted that although the environmental assessment (EA) for the project recognized resiliency to climate change and severe weather events as a “critical parameter” for evaluation of design alternatives, the EA had failed “to follow through with an adequate resiliency analysis.” The complaint also alleged that the project’s funding through a post-Superstorm Sandy grant program could be placed in jeopardy if the project was found not to advance the grant program’s public transit resiliency priorities.