STRATFORD, Conn. -- An event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Merritt Parkway was held in Stratford this fall.
State Rep. Laura Hoydick, R-Stratford, joined state and local officials in recognizing the famed parkway, which was opened to the public on Sept. 2, 1940. Also attending were Rep. Laura Devlin, R-Fairfield, Rep. Ben McGorty, R-Stratford, and Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Wilton.
The historic parkway was named for Connecticut Congressman Schuyler Merritt, who was considered a great conservationist.
The first section of the Merritt Parkway, from the New York state line in Greenwich to Norwalk, opened on June 29, 1938. The remaining portion of the parkway was opened in sections: from Norwalk to Westport in December 1938; Westport to Trumbull in November 1939; and Trumbull to the Housatonic River Viaduct (Sikorsky Bridge) on Sept. 2, 1940.
At that time over 1,000 people gathered on the Housatonic River Viaduct for a 1940 ceremony presided over by Gov. Raymond Baldwin.
The event this year also focused on the great work done by the Merritt Parkway Conservancy and its efforts to preserve and protect the unique nature of the roadway with its parklike roadsides and numerous art deco bridges along its length.