State of Alaska Awarded Scenic Byways Grants
(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The State of Alaska was recently awarded four National Scenic Byways Program grants totaling $714,157. The grants were announced August 2, 2012 by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
The Alaska Scenic Byways program was established in 1993 to recognize and celebrate some of the most beautiful landscapes in the state. Administered by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF), the program recognizes routes that provide access to Alaska’s greatest scenic areas, cultural riches and recreational resources.
The four grants awarded to Alaska are (Category, Grant Amount, Byway, Project):
All-American Road: $246,500 - Alaska Marine Highway System, Seldovia Gateway and Pedestrian Improvements. This grant will help repair Seldovia’s historic waterfront boardwalk and install information signs throughout the community to safely direct visitors to trails and historic sites.
National Scenic Byway: $154,057 - Glenn Highway, Wildlife Viewing Tower at Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge. Visitors will be able to safely view wildlife, migratory birds, the refuge’s expansive scenery, the Knik River and the Chugach Mountains because of these funds
National Scenic Byway: $184,000 - Haines Highway, Picture Point Wayside Rest. This will fund the design and construct restrooms, trails, vehicle parking areas and information signs on the Haines Highway.
All-American Road: $129,200 - Seward Highway, Iditarod National Historic Trailhead Signs. At the Iditarod National Historic Trail, trailheads adjacent to the Seward Highway will receive way-finding signage through this grant.
The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Under the program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. There are 150 such designated byways in 46 states.
Alaska’s Scenic Byways start at the local level with a grass-roots byway organization. Once the byway organization applies for and receives scenic byway designation by the state, the route becomes eligible for grant funding to enhance and promote the byway’s special qualities. They also become eligible to apply for national designations by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 720 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.