We seek to ensure a balance between the functionality of the parkway as a major thoroughfare and the preservation of the original design of parkway's distinctive bridges and landscape.
The Merritt Parkway Landscape Master Plan, adopted by CTDOT, includes a master plant list-only trees, shrubs, ground covers and grasses on the list can be used on the Parkway. The Conservancy would like to have this list expanded to address areas of concern in the right-of-way.
Click here to view Master Plan Plant List
In cooperation with Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens a demonstration garden was planted in the spring of 2009. The Conservancy is planning to expand the garden this spring. Please check back for observations on the first year planting.
Ceci Brothers, a landscaping firm on North Street in Greenwich, will partner with two neighborhood associations and the Conservancy to do two projects after the years of construction at the site. First, they will add some 'car-deterrent' fencing to prevent cars from 'carpool parking' along the entrance/exit ramps. This was not included in the DOT restoration of the site. Second, they will do a 'spring adjustment' which includes removal of dead materials (after alerting DOT) and minor, strategic replanting to improve the site over the next few years.
New Canaan Salt Shed & Maintenance Facility
In November 2005, Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) presented its initial plan for the renovation of the New Canaan maintenance garage and salt shed near exit 37. The plan was met with criticism from New Canaan residents and the MPC. Complaints included observations that the property had been used as a landfill. Under the proposed DOT design, contaminated soil would not have been removed, only capped. The new salt shed was designed to sit on top of this contaminated soil, some 25 feet higher than the rest of the property, with little screening from the Merritt Parkway.
In response, MPC presented a new design removing the contaminated soil, lowering the salt shed and providing screening from the Merritt. After many meetings with DOT and local legislators MPC'S plan was not accepted by DOT citing additional construction costs. The Conservancy was successful in having the salt shed moved further away from the Merritt Parkway and lowered in elevation from the original plan.
As a result of a fire in May 2008, the State Building Inspector condemned portions of the maintenance facility. A new 15 vehicle bay is under construction adjacent to the existing office building. The architectural design and materials will be representative of the original building.