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2011 Discretionary Grant Programs

National Scenic Byways Program - Selection Criteria and Additional Information


The National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) recognizes roads having outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational, and archaeological qualities. NSBP funding supports projects that manage and protect these intrinsic qualities, interpret these qualities for visitors, and improve visitor facilities along byways.

The NSBP provides funding to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways; All-American Roads; America's Byways®; State scenic byways; or Indian tribe scenic byways; and to plan, design, and develop a State or Indian tribe scenic byway program.

Additional information on the NSBP can be found at http://www.bywaysonline.org/.

Statutory References:

Title 23 United States Code Section 162


Funded by contract authority; funds are not transferable. Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid highway obligation limitation. Funds are to be allocated by the Secretary to States and Indian tribes.

Federal Share:

The Federal share payable shall be 80%, except that, in the case of any scenic byway project along a public road that provides access to or within Federal or Indian land, a Federal land management agency may use funds authorized for use by the agency as the non-Federal share.

Eligible Use of Funds:

The following are projects that are eligible:

  1. An activity related to the planning, design, or development of a State or Indian tribe scenic byway program.
  2. Development and implementation of a corridor management plan to maintain the scenic, historical, recreational, cultural, natural, and archaeological characteristics of a byway corridor while providing for accommodation of increased tourism and development of related amenities.
  3. Safety improvements to a State scenic byway, Indian tribe scenic byway, National Scenic Byway, All-American Road, or one of America's Byways to the extent that the improvements are necessary to accommodate increased traffic and changes in the types of vehicles using the highway as a result of the designation as a State scenic byway, Indian tribe scenic byway, National Scenic Byway, All-American Road, or one of America's Byways.
  4. Construction along a scenic byway of a facility for pedestrians and bicyclists, rest area, turnout, highway shoulder improvement, overlook, or interpretive facility.
  5. An improvement to a scenic byway that will enhance access to an area for the purpose of recreation, including water-related recreation.
  6. Protection of scenic, historical, recreational, cultural, natural, and archaeological resources in an area adjacent to a scenic byway.
  7. Development and provision of tourist information to the public, including interpretive information about a scenic byway.
  8. Development and implementation of a scenic byway marketing program.

Priority Consideration:

The Secretary will give priority consideration:

Project Selection Criteria

The following administrative criteria will be used in the consideration of projects for funding under the National Scenic Byways Program:

  1. Livability: We will give priority to eligible projects that can demonstrate a value-added livability component in addition to its relationship to the byway and the byway traveler.

  2. Greatest Strategic Benefits: Funding will be targeted toward projects that provide the greatest long-term strategic benefits. We are particularly focusing on projects with demonstrated benefits for the byway traveler and invite the application of large-scale, high-cost planning, safety, and infrastructure improvements to roadway facilities.

  3. State, Indian Tribe and Byway Priorities: The priority ranking of projects is a key factor in selecting projects for funding.

  4. Project Benefits: A project should benefit the byway traveler, whether it will help manage the intrinsic qualities that support the byway’s designation, shape the byway’s story, interpret the story for visitors, or improve visitor facilities along the byway.

  5. Projects Meeting Critical Needs: We encourage States and Indian tribes to give priority consideration to projects meeting critical needs on National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads relative to needs on State or Indian tribe scenic byways.

  6. Funding Expenditures: States, Indian tribes, and byways showing greater progress toward the completion of prior approved projects are considered better candidates for project selection.

  7. Ready to Implement: Projects that can be obligated and begin soon after authorization to proceed are given preference.

  8. Leveraging of Private or Other Public Funding: Commitment of other funding sources to complement requested byway funding to enable more projects to be funded.

Submission Requirements

Applications are due from the State departments of transportation (State DOTs) and Indian Tribes to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) division offices by June 3, 2011. Further information to support development of project proposals can be found at http://www.bywaysonline.org/grants/.

All applications must be completed online at http://www.bywaysonline.org/grants/application/. Indian Tribes may submit applications through the State DOTs or directly to the FHWA division offices. All other applications must be submitted to the State DOTs for review and possible submission to the FHWA division offices. Applicants must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and an active Central Contractor Registration (CCR) that can be verified by the State coordinator or FHWA division offices in addition to submitting their application on www.bywaysonline.org.

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