Two state roads in the New Preston section of Washington were recently given scenic road status by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

The designations, which apply to portions of Route 202 and Route 45, require that the scenic qualities of the roadscape be considered when the DOT maintains or improves the roads.

The formal scenic status, which was requested in 2008 by Washington's Conservation Commission and approved by DOT Commissioner Joseph F. Marie on June 8, applies to a 2.8-mile section of Route 202 between Rabbit Hill Road and Route 45 and to a half-mile segment of Route 45 between Route 202 and West Shore Road.

"We're very pleased that these two important corridors have received this designation," said Susan Payne, chairman of the town's Conservation Commission.

"Route 202 and Route 45 are two of the town's most visible and heavily-travelled roads," she said, "but they're maintained by the state, which, understandably, isn't always aware of local concerns about scenic resources. "

"This designation will help insure that the rural character of these roads isn't diminished," she added, "when maintenance is done or improvements are undertaken."

The portion of Route 202 receiving scenic designation runs through a substantial corridor of protected open space, which includes the 360-Acre Macricostas Preserve, numerous privately-owned properties under conservation

easement.

Also included is a 31-acre undeveloped parcel in New Preston village, which the town of Washington recently purchased using money from its open space fund.

The segment of Route 45 granted scenic status runs along the East Aspetuck River, through New Preston center, to the Washington Town Beach at Lake Waramaug.

"Having scenic status provides some good checks and balances against insensitive alterations, and it will help preserve the present appearance and scale of these roads," said Kelly Bolling," the Washington Conservation Commission's vice chairman, who initiated efforts to pursue the scenic designations.

With the new scenic designations along Route 202 and Route 45, Connecticut now has 296.17 miles of state scenic roads.