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Within the U.S. Department of Transportation, FHWA has lead responsibility for the National Scenic Byways Program. The Program is a grassroots, collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. The Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as America's Byways® - All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways - based on one or more archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic intrinsic qualities.

The law guiding implementation of the National Scenic Byways Program is in Section 162, Title 23 of the United States Code; 23 U.S.C. 162, see FHWA established the principle policy for the Program in its May 18, 1995 Interim Policy (60 FR 26759), see

The Interim Policy remains the current policy governing the program. However, both the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) have since modified the National Scenic Byways Program. The current statutory language (23 U.S.C. Section 162) does have some inconsistencies with the Interim Policy. In such cases, the statutory language governs.

The Secretary of Transportation makes grants to States and Indian tribes to implement projects on highways designated as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads, or as State or Indian tribe scenic byways.

Projects submitted for consideration should benefit the byway traveler's experience, 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.

Once the Secretary of Transportation selects a project for funding, the applicant must work with the State byway coordinator, Indian tribe byway coordinator, and/or FHWA division office byway contact to implement the project and to be reimbursed for eligible expenses.

This document provides applicants information on preparing applications for consideration and funding by the by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Updated: 12/15/2015
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