Merritt Parkway Service Areas
In 2007, the Connecticut Department of Transportation held a public informational
meeting on the Connecticut Statewide Rest Area and Service Plaza Study. The presentation
included the idea that the service areas on the Merritt be demolished and replaced with new
buildings to maintain "the historic character on the Parkway." The Conservancy opposed any
destruction to the six historic buildings and requested a greater role in any improvements to
the service areas.
ConnDOT in 2008 issued a request for proposal for the redevelopment and long-term operation
for all 23 service plazas in Connecticut. Included in the proposal was the condition the
Conservancy would participate in the review of any proposed construction activities; and our
goal "for these facilities to be maintained at, or restored to their historical appearance and kept
within the Parkwayĺs character."
ConnDOT was provided with copies of The Merritt Parkway Service Area Guidelines and Comments,
prepared by MPC, to distribute to prospective operators to provide background information on
the Merritt Parkway Master Plan and Rehabilitation Standards.
In 2009, the State of Connecticut entered into a 35-year public-private partnership with Project
Service LLC, a joint venture between SUBWAY and the Carlyle Group. MPC has been working
with Project Service LLC and ConnDOT reviewing site and building plans.
As a result of our work, gas pumps and canopies are relocated further from the buildings,
increasing safety and enhancing views. MPCĺs architectural reviews helped preserve the
exteriors of the historically protected buildings and limited advertising by the new vendors.