The road from Litchfield to Thomaston has been improved several times over the years. In 1955, the unsigned number SR 854 was assigned to the road.
Construction and relocation
In October 1957, four miles of new highway along SR 854 spanning the town line opened to traffic, replacing a "narrow, twisting road" in the area. I haven't been able to locate traces of this old road. After this construction, SR 854 included the following streets and roads:
- Grand Street, Thomaston
- Litchfield Street, Thomaston. A portion of this road near the Northfield dam is no longer open to traffic.
- Northfield Road, in Litchfield. The northern part of this was modified when Route 118 was relocated in 1961.
In January 1963, the state announced plans to relocate SR 854 to the southwest, to bypass the planned Northfield dam. Part of the old route would be retained as an access road. The dam and the relocated highway opened in 1966. Litchfield Street, from Walnut Hill Road northward, is part of the old route; another segment north of the dam is visible from the air.
In 1966, the state announced plans to relocate Route 254 south of Walnut Hill Road, on new alignment. Construction was delayed several times, but the new road opened on July 1, 1970. The Northfield Road name (and Route 254 designation) was extended along the new road. Litchfield and Grand Streets are the old alignment.
Number and designation changes
In 1955, SR 854 was defined along the Litchfield - Thomaston Road.
In 1963, SR 854 became signed Route 254. Its southern end was Grand Street at Main Street (Route 8 at the time) in Thomaston.
On Sept. 9, 1967, the Route 8 freeway opened in Thomaston, triggering some route changes. Route 254 was extended along former Route 8 (South Main Street and Waterbury Road) to its present terminus at SR 848 and Reynolds Bridge.
When the new Route 254 opened in 1970, the old alignment (Litchfield and Grand Streets), about 0.75 miles, became SR 822; this road was turned over to the town in 1972.
There's also a line item for an unspecified road called SR 854A that was cancelled in 1962.