The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced US$21.8m in grants for 33 National Scenic Byways Program projects, including five grants awarded to Tribal applicants.
The grants, which recognize outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural resources and archaeological sites, will deliver on the US president’s Investing in America agenda to help improve facilities, make safety upgrades, and provide interpretive information along roads in 29 states.
This announcement adds to the list of more than 3,200 National Scenic Byways Program grants since the start of the program.
“FHWA is proud to award these grants that will help make travel safer, provide more enjoyable access, and support local businesses along scenic byways across the country,” said Federal Highway administrator, Shailen Bhatt. “Scenic routes provide myriad ways to explore the United States, and it’s no wonder that since its inception in 1992, the National Scenic Byways Program has received broad support from members of Congress, state and local officials, and the public.”
The awards include the following grants:
The California Department of Transportation will receive US$96,000 to fund repairs at Sierra County’s Kentucky Mine Historical Park (site of the only full-scale gold mine stamp mill machine on the West Coast) along the Yuba River State Scenic Byway to sustain and promote the byway’s tourism economy, preserve it for future generations, and improve the habitat of a threatened bat species.
The Iowa Department of Transportation will receive approximately US$714,000 to install 51 thematic kiosks at key entry points and high use areas on the state’s 14 scenic byways. The grant will help to provide traveler-focused interpretation, maps, and information to welcome visitors, orient them along their route, and help them understand, appreciate, and experience the intrinsic qualities, resources, and attractions of each byway.
The Forest County Potawatomi Community Tribe in Wisconsin will receive approximately US$302,000 to enhance the Tribe’s biking and pedestrian trail by designing and constructing four culturally interpretive rest areas along a path which parallels the Nicolet-Wolf River Scenic Byway, adding cultural artwork to the biking/pedestrian underpass and installing wayfinding signage.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will receive a US$1m grant to improve safety by adding a turn lane and 8-foot shoulders along roughly 1.3 miles of the Historic Route 66 National Scenic Byway in Oklahoma County, which also will increase recreational opportunities and generate economic activity from cyclists traveling along Bicycle Route 66.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation will receive US$750,000 in funding to repair a badly damaged sea wall, improve drainage, and replace sidewalk and curbing as part of the Hope Street Pedestrian and Resiliency Enhancements project at the Revolutionary Heritage National Scenic Byway.
The full list of grants can be found here.