The USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) that allows states and federally recognized Tribes to apply for $22 million in grants through FHWA’s National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP).
The program funds improvements, such as byway facilities, safety improvements, and interpretive information, along roads in the United States that merit recognition at the national level for their outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural recreational and archeological qualities.
“These grants enhance travel along some of the most beloved routes in the nation,” says deputy federal highway administrator Stephanie Pollack. “Scenic roads are America’s connections to the great outdoors and help support businesses large and small in regions across the country.”
Created in 1991, FHWA administers the NSBP to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 included US$16 million for the NSBP – the first Congressional appropriations for the program since 2012 – and directed FHWA to make new NSBP designations. The recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 provides an additional $6 million for the NSBP.
In February 2021, FHWA announced 49 new designations to the America’s Byways collection, including 15 All-American Roads and 34 National Scenic Byways in 28 states. This increased the total number of America’s Byways to 184 in 48 states. To date, FHWA has awarded more than US$505 million in NSBP grants.
The NOFO invites states and federally recognized tribes to apply for grants to implement eligible 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 or Indian Tribe scenic byway program. In calling for applications for discretionary grant funding under the NSBP, the NOFO integrates Biden-Harris Administration priorities, which include safety, equity and accessibility, economic strength, and climate and sustainability.