U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Contact: Lori Irving
U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Names
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today added 23 new National Scenic Byways and 13 All-American Roads to the list of America's Byways. America's Byways are a distinctive collection of American roads, their stories and treasured places.
"America's Byways are roads to the heart and soul of America," said Secretary Mineta. "Byways help create a sense of pride in America. They connect us to this country's beauty, history and culture." Under the National Scenic Byways 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.
A panel of experts considered the roads nominated for designation this year. Panel members were chosen based on, among other things, their experience with these six qualities expected of All-American Roads and National Scenic Byways.
To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least one of the six intrinsic qualities and be regionally significant. These roads are often the "roads less traveled."
To receive an All-American Road designation, a road must possess multiple intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant and have one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere. The road or highway must also be considered a "destination unto itself." That is, the road must provide an exceptional traveling experience so recognized by travelers that they would make a drive along the highway a primary reason for their trip.
The National Scenic Byways Program, established by Congress in 1991 and administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), was created to preserve and protect the nation's scenic byways and, at the same time, promote tourism and economic development. Participation in the program is voluntary and may encompass any public road or highway. The National Scenic Byways Program emphasizes local involvement.
"The Federal Highway Administration is proud of a program that helps preserve the sites, sounds and resources that exist on these diverse and interesting roads," FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters said. "Whether you want to travel close to home or plan a drive cross-country, byways provide people with exciting new travel choices. They are the treasured destinations for people willing to wander a little." In addition to designations, FHWA manages the scenic byways discretionary grant program. Under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), approximately $25 million is available annually for planning as well as enhancing and promoting the byways. Today's announcement marks the fourth round of designations.
With these new designations, there are 75 National Scenic Byways and 20 All-American Roads in 39 states, including 9 with portions in more than one state. For additional information or to obtain brochures and maps, call 1-800-4-BYWAYS (1-800-429-9297) or through the National Scenic Byways Program website, www.byways.org.
A complete list of the America's Byways collection follows, with asterisks indicating the newly designated roads.
National Scenic Byways and All-Americans Roads
National Scenic Byways
*36 new designations. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (California), North Shore Scenic Drive (Minnesota), and Beartooth Scenic Byway (Montana) are already All-American Roads, and extensions are being approved this year. Death Valley Scenic Byway (California) already is a National Scenic Byway, and an extension is being approved this year. The Historic National Road (Illinois), Historic National Road (Indiana), Creole Nature Trail (Louisiana), and Pacific Coast Scenic Byway (Oregon) are currently National Scenic Byways, and their designation is changed to an All-American Road.