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Federal Highway Acting Administrator Rick Capka
Remarks as prepared for delivery
2005 All-American Road and National Scenic Byway Designation Event
September 22, 2005, Washington DC

Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta wanted to join us today, but he is immersed in work on the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. The Bush Administration and U.S. DOT are committed to helping the ravaged areas recover as quickly as possible.

Today we want to celebrate designation of your roads as one of America's Byways.

America's Byways are about appreciating the diversity of our country's resources and connecting with the land and its people. These roads are an exciting way to see and experience the real America.

Whether you travel close to home or cross-country, Byways provide all kinds of learning and recreational opportunities. They are a big part of who we are -- Byways provide a truly unique American experience.

When driving along America's Byways:

  • Save fuel by traveling with friends and family.
  • Fill the day with adventures -- hike, bike, boat, fish, or just take in the scenery.
  • Stop along the way and visit the cultural and historic sites.

There is a special "sense of place" along the Byways. The National Scenic Byways Program is a "community-based" program - communities are involved in the preservation, protection, promotion, and pride of their Byway. Today we celebrate your efforts -- and the efforts of your friends and neighbors -- in achieving this special recognition.

We thank you for preserving and protecting the sites and resources throughout these corridors. We thank you for coming together with your neighbors to create your vision and reach your goals. We especially thank you for sharing your stories with us.

In talking with members of the byway community, one thing that continues to ring loud and clear is the commitment to and reliance on partnerships with local chambers of commerce, historic, tourism, and preservation organizations. At Federal Highways, we count on the partners who have worked with us over the years to build the National Scenic Byways Program. These include our founding partners -- the American Automobile Association, American Recreation Coalition, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Scenic America.

In addition, we continue to work with new partners such as the Travel Industry Association, the American Bus Association, Mobil Travel Guide, and Harley-Davidson, as well as Federal partners who help us spread the word about the America's Byways collection.

Congratulations to all of you for recognizing, preserving and sharing some of our nation's most precious resources. As stated in the commemorative program, "We invite everyone to learn the stories these roads have to tell." So "Come Closer" and celebrate all that our newest Byways have to offer.

-end-

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