Small Grants For Smalltown Scenic Byways
Driving through smalltown America this summer, travellers may pass along a scenic byway, part of a federal government program that has just been enriched by some $15 million in project grants.
U.S. Department of Transportation announced grants for 104 projects in 37 states that are part of the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program.
The program recognizes roads around the nation based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational or scenic qualities. The new grants will help fund such projects as scenic overlooks, visitor information centers, educational and promotional materials, pedestrian trails, bike paths and safety improvements.
“Our nation’s scenic byways provide a vital link between countless travelers and America’s small towns and rural areas, supporting hundreds of “mom and pop” shops along the way,” said Federal Highway Administration Administrator Mary Peters.
Currently, the America’s Byways system includes 96 roads in 39 states. Studies suggest that byway designations increase the number of visitors to rural communities by up to 20 percent, resulting in jobs, because the typical byway visitor spends between $100 and $200 per trip.