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Article Published December 23, 2020

Unique Cultural Resource

By Robert S. Vavasour

On Dec. 1, the South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) held a webinar, for all interested persons, to participate in an open planning process envisioned for the entire length of State Route 146 in the towns of Branford and Guilford. The planning process is expected to address current conditions along the road, with the purpose of forming a better understanding of how best to ameliorate the problems identified along its corridor, as well as challenges presented by global heating and sea-level rise.

The chief SCRCOG staff person overseeing this process, Stephen Dudley, made clear that public input into this process is both welcome and desirable, as State Route 146 is a very unique historical and natural resource, utilized by many and beloved by all. He directed that public comments should be directed to him at his email address, and those comments must be received by Thursday, Dec. 31 in order to be timely received.

Uniquely, State Route 146 is both a Connecticut State Scenic Highway as well as a National Register Historic District in its own right, in the central portion which runs between the Water Street bridge in Guilford and Flat Rock Road in Branford. That central section—the Route 146 National Register Historic District—acts as a backbone connecting three other National Register Historic Districts in the two towns, making it a critically important linkage and a cultural road that carries local cultural landscape history.

I encourage members of the public to request that SCRCOG’s study be mindful of that unique cultural resource bound up in the roadway itself, and to approach its planning with a view toward not increasing what we demand of it, but rather making better use of the resource as it now is, in its existing contours and dimensions.

Robert S. Vavasour