CT 97 History
Commissioned in 1932, Route 97 originally followed this alignment, starting in the south:
- Today's Route 97, from Route 12 into Chaplin
- Station Road and Morey Road from Hampton Center to today's Route 198 in Chaplin. The "stairstep" section of Route 97 north of US 44 in Pomfret was called Route 201. The remainder of today's Route 97 in Pomfret and Hampton was not originally numbered.
In 1934, Route 97 was rerouted straight north from Hampton, crossing the old Route 101 (now US 44), absorbing the "stairstep" Route 201, and ending at old Route 93 (now Route 169).
In the 1960s and '70s, an eastern alignment of Interstate 84 was planned through Hampton en route to Providence. If this had been built, Route 97 would have been widened near the proposed interchange at the Hampton - Scotland town line.
Facing north on Route 97 in downtown Hampton, Conn. Just a few buildings make up the center of this quiet town. Light traffic allows the "stand in the middle of the road" view here. Photo taken Sept. 2002 by Kurumi.
Scenic Road in Pomfret
In January 2001, a segment from the Hampton town line to Route 169 in Pomfret was submitted to the state's Scenic Road Advisory Committee. In April 2001, the commission determined that the portion south of US 44 did not provide a "continuous representation of the character or the criteria of a scenic roadway"; in other words, that part of Route 97 wasn't very scenic.
However, the 4.5-mile portion from US 44 to US 44/Route 169 (the aforementioned "stairstep" section) was approved as a scenic road on April 27, 2001. This designation helps protect the road from state modifications that might mar the scenery.