A group of Westporters — working hard to designate a 1.2-mile stretch of Route 136 as a scenic highway — is highlighting the history of the 19th-century Saugatuck River swing bridge.
To do so, they’ve added a 21st-century element: a website.
Launched a few days ago, the site — www.PreserveWestport.com — includes a treasure trove of images and information about the structure. There are links to its long history and innovative architecture, along with media stories, rare source documents, and related bridge sites.
As the state Department of Transportation and town officials discuss renovations — and possible replacement — of the Bridge Street (aka Cribari) bridge, PreserveWestport.com provides important background on the span, its role in the Saugatuck community on one side of the river, and the residential neighborhood on the other.
The website comes at at a key time. Within the next 2 weeks, the DOT Scenic Highway Advisory Committee is expected to announce a recommendation regarding what would be Westport’s 1st scenic highway.
At a public forum here last month, Colleen Kissane — chair of DOT’s advisory committee — said that such a designation would provide further safeguards for both the bridge and Route 136.
“It’s another level of approval,” she noted. “Environmental Protection would have to weigh in on it….Tourism would weigh in on it, where normally they would not.”
Westporters — private citizens and town officials alike — will weigh in too, in the months ahead. To see what everyone is talking about, visit the bridge and Route 136.
And, of course, visit PreserveWestport.com.