When evaluating the projects submitted for selection, several statutory and administrative criteria are considered.
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. It states that the Secretary of Transportation may make grants 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
- plan, design, and develop a State scenic or Indian tribe byway program.
The following subparagraph under paragraph (a) in Section 162 provides the priorities for the Secretary of Transportation in making grants:
- PRIORITIES.-In making grants, the Secretary shall give priority to
- each eligible project that is associated with a highway that has been designated as a National Scenic Byway, All American Road, or 1 of America’s Byways; and that is consistent with the corridor management plan for the byway;
- each eligible project along a State or Indian tribe scenic byway that is consistent with the corridor management plan for the byway, or is intended to foster the development of such a plan, and is carried out to make the byway eligible for designation as-
- a National Scenic Byway;
- am All-American Road; or
- 1 of America’s Byways; and
- each eligible project that is associated with the development of a State or Indian tribe scenic byway program.
These three priorities are treated equally; they are not considered to be listed in priority order. Projects along a State or Indian tribe designated scenic byway that are not intended to make the byway eligible for designation as a National Scenic Byway or All-American Road are eligible, but are given lower funding priority.