Merritt Parkway, Connecticut:
The Merritt Parkway is one of the oldest scenic parkways in the United States. The parkway was named for Stamford native and U.S. Congressman Schuyler Merritt, who led legislation for its construction. The Merritt Parkway is the first leg of what later became modern Route 15. It was conceived as a way to alleviate congestion on the Boston Post Road (U.S. Route 1) in Fairfield County. Construction began in 1934 on 37 miles of parkway from the New York state line in Greenwich to the Housatonic River in Stratford.
Bridges crossing the Merritt played a prominent role in the design. Architect George L. Dunkelberger designed them all. Many of the bridges were made in the Art Deco style, with touches of neoclassical and modern design. Many of the original and existing bridges were constructed as a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. After the parkway fully opened in 1940, it was not uncommon for travelers to picnic along the side of the road.
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