U.S. District Ruling in Favor of Merritt Parkway
On March 31, 2006, U.S. District Judge Mark Kravitz ruled in favor of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy in a lawsuit filed against the Federal Highway Administration and CTDOT to halt construction of the Main Avenue interchange in Norwalk. The court ruled that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and CT DOT had failed to explore "all possible planning to minimize harm" to the historic Parkway as required by Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act 1966.
The Merritt Parkway Conservancy, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Sierra Club, Norwalk Land Trust, Norwalk River Watershed Association, Norwalk Preservation Trust and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation filed suit in June 2005 to block construction of the Route 7/Main Avenue interchange after the DOT rejected alternatives to the current plan. The $100 million dollar project included elevated ramps above the Merritt, destruction of four historic bridges, alteration of the landscape, and irreversible damage to the historic character of the Merritt.
Currently, CTDOT is hosting a series of stakeholder meetings to develop a design for the interchange that completes the connections from Route 7 and improves safety on the Merritt while respecting the historic character of the Parkway. Additional information on the interchange can be found at 7-15norwalk.com.