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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 21, 2003
Contact: Bill Outlaw
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 10-03

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces $24 Million in Scenic Byways Grants for 42 States

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced that 206 projects in 42 states will share $24 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) scenic byways grants. This funding will help recognize, preserve and enhance selected scenic roads and highways throughout the United States.

"The Bush Administration is committed to good stewardship of America's resources, and this funding will help protect and enhance roads representing our heritage," Secretary Mineta said. "They connect us to our country's beauty, history and culture. They are the way to the heart and soul of America."

The funding is intended to help achieve the vision of the byways program by funding projects that engage volunteers to preserve and enhance these byways; demonstrate environmentally sensitive solutions to problems in preserving these byways; and enable people to walk and bike in natural settings. The vision for the National Scenic Byways Program is "to create a distinctive collection of American Roads, their stories and special places."

"There's been a misrepresentation that you're either a good environmental steward or you build transportation projects," FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters said. "The scenic byways program demonstrates how we can make needed transportation improvement while preserving and enhancing our scenic vistas and important landscapes."

National scenic byways discretionary funds enable states to undertake eligible projects along highways designated as All-American Roads, National Scenic Byways and state-designated byways. Eligible under the program are planning projects to inventory, preserve and enhance the qualities of byways; safety improvements; construction of bike and pedestrian facilities; development of visitor information such as brochures and interpretive facilities and scenic overlooks; and resource protection such as scenic easements and byway marketing. These efforts serve as tools to boost local economies through tourism and create a sense of pride.

Besides generating a sense of pride and enthusiasm for those involved, these projects are intended to help carry on a legacy of stewardship. Since 1992, the National Scenic Byways Program has provided $202 million for 1,488 projects in 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Additional information, brochures and maps can be obtained by calling 1-800-4-BYWAYS (1-800-429-9297) or by going to the national scenic byways program web site, http://www.byways.org.

A table listing the scenic byways grants, in some cases pending application approval by FHWA, for fiscal year 2003 is on the Internet at http://www.byways.org/grants/approved_2003.html.

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