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History of the Program

The National Scenic Byways (NSB) Program was established under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. Under the program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. There are 150 such designated byways in 46 states. The Federal Highway Administration promotes the collection as America's Byways.

Timeline

1991
The National Scenic Byways Program was established under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, which provided $74.3 million in discretionary grant funds to eligible projects.
May 18, 1995
In the Federal Register, FHWA announced its interim policy for the National Scenic Byways Program. This interim policy set forth the criteria for the designation of roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based upon their intrinsic qualities.
September, 1996
Transportation Secretary Federico Peña designates the first 14 National Scenic Byways and 6 All-American Roads from nominations submitted by local communities, states and federal land agencies.
June 9, 1998
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) authorized a total of $148 million for technical assistance and grants to States for the purposes of developing scenic byway programs and undertaking related projects along roads designated as National Scenic Byways, All-American Roads, or as State Scenic Byways.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater announced the designation of 33 new All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways in 19 states.
June 15, 2000
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mortimer L. Downey announced the designation of 30 new All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways in 20 states.
June 13, 2002
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta added 23 new National Scenic Byways and 13 All-American Roads to the list of America's Byways.
August 10, 2005
President Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), authorizing a total of $175 million for technical assistance and grants to States and Indian tribes.
September 22, 2005
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta announced 45 new designations - 8 All-American Roads and 37 National Scenic Byways.
October 16, 2009
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced 42 new designations to the America's Byways® collection - 5 All-American Roads and 37 National Scenic Byways.

Legislation

United States Code
Title 23, Section 162 of the United States Code describes creation of the National Scenic Byways program. (Updated in 2005)
Interim Policy
Interim Policy for the National Scenic Byways Program. This gives criteria for designation of roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads.
Updated: 09/03/2013
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