• Road or Rail bridge over the Merritt Parkway Near Route 8

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by bwparker1
Does anyone know if this old bridge was for a road or a railroad ROW? It is located just east of the Route 15 and Route 8 interchange on the Merritt Parkway in Trumbull, CT.

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  by The EGE
That's the original Housatonic Railroad line (New Haven Berkshire Division). It was abandoned around the same time that the Merritt was built, but it was kept in place in case service ever returned.
  by CannaScrews
It is located at the intersection of Rt 25 & The Merritt Pkwy.

The New Haven RR insisted on the bridge being built even though the section from Bridgeport to Stepney was being abandoned in 1940.

That section of the Parkway was opened in 1940.

I'm sure the New Haven got a few bucks for flagging jobs and construction for the bridge.

The bridge is slated to become part of the old Housatonic RR R-O-W rail-to-trail. The current RTT runs from White Plains Rd in Trumbull on the old ROW to Botsford +-. Extending it south will cost a few bucks because of the need to separate the trail users from the massive highway interchange.
  by bwparker1
Thanks for the history everyone. It certainly looks like a railroad bridge when you drive under it, but I was having a hard time finding the ROW from the aerial imagery. The fact that the line was abandoned in the 1940's makes more sense to being unable to see the ROW.
  by v8interceptor
I'll have to look for it the next time I'm stuck in stop-and-go traffic on the Merritt (seems to happen every time I'm returning to RI from a business trip to Jersey)..
  by DutchRailnut
look on bing maps (bird eye view) at where Peckenock (sp) river and merit Pkw cross each other east of route 25 exchange.
  by CannaScrews
Merritt Pkwy RR Bridge 800.jpg
The bridge is just east of Exit 49N on the Merritt Parkway.

Don't worry, that stretch of the Merritt in afternoon rush hour tends to clog up right at the bridge, so you will get a nice view if you don't rear-end the vehicle in front of you as you look.

The river name is Pequonnock (pronounced Pee-Quan-nic or Pee-Quan-nok).
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  by CannaScrews
To my (limited) knowledge - no.
  by H.F.Malone
Last edited by H.F.Malone on Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by H.F.Malone
Recall hearing that the only train to use it was the scrap train that lifted the rails in 1940 or so.
  by shepaug
Anybody know what industries used this line ? Any pictures exist ? (probably not) Why was the whole southern part torn up total ? If a trail what is the big stall ?

It seems Bridgeport gets rid of any spur railroads total.

I have seen on a map the tracks ending short of the parkway but at a quarry. If ever used for that purpose I do not know. I think the ROW now the same place as quarry road but I have not snooped north of the end of quarry road.

Otherwise I used to walk the line when a kid in the 60's (??) Monroe, etc. The tracks were mostly loose as the ties rotted out. Then one day the scrap people came.

nice walking-----------but rail trails I don't find exciting....

Newtown the tracks are still there.
  by CannaScrews
Anybody know what industries used this line ?
The northernmost industry after the line was cut may have been the quarry on Quarry Road, but into the 1970s it was aggregate (maybe coal before that) just north of Lindley St. The silos are still standing (Hi-Ho painted on them for Hi-Ho D'addario construction company).

Below Lindley St on the East side, there were various industries including some steel fabrication places.
Any pictures exist ? (probably not)
Not aware of any.
Why was the whole southern part torn up total ?
No business, Bridgeport politics, funding available for urban "renewal". The viaduct was an eyesore. The old station was a mess.
If a trail what is the big stall ?
$$$$$$, pure & simple, plus a little reticence from Trumbull not wanting the people from "the South" walking up the path, breaking into homes & stealing the 50" plasma TVs & walking back down to the pawn shop for some quick "crack" cash.
Actually, the big problem is where Rt 25 & the Merritt Pkwy meet. Only the bridge spans the Merritt & to put a path there, some engineering would be needed to wend the path around the various connecting ramps. Also, Rt 8 occupies the ROW from Rt 1 up to Old Town Rd, so placing it would mean acquiring an easement and/or construction of a grade separation. And Bridgeport politics.
It seems Bridgeport gets rid of any spur railroads total.
Why not - all heavy industry has left Bridgeport over 30-40 years ago (well, maybe 20 years for GE/Remington & Carpenter Steel) to pollute China & other places in the world. You don't need a railroad to serve "vapourware". This is not your grandfathers model railroad. Shoot - you may be a grandfather if you grew up in Monroe in the 60's......
  by CannaScrews
Did you take your shoes off when crossing the highway ramps?

Pretty neat otherwise.