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DOT&PF Designates the Copper River Highway as a State Scenic Byway

The new byway is 52 miles long and travels through the Copper River Delta

(JUNEAU, Alaska) - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) announces the designation of the Copper River Highway as an Alaska State Scenic Byway.

The 52-mile corridor is located in the Copper River Delta, one of Alaska's greatest rivers. From 1911 to 1938 this corridor contained the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad which brought rich copper ore to the harbor town of Cordova. This abandoned railroad crosses some of the most incredible natural scenery in the state of Alaska and is known today as the Copper River Highway.

This newly-designated scenic byway runs through 584-square miles of the Copper River Delta and supports the world famous Copper River Wild Salmon fishery. It provides a home, or flyway stopover, for over 500,000 migratory birds, and is known internationally as part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve network. The Copper River Delta is home to the town of Cordova and is surrounded by the Chugach National Forest and the Chugach Mountains.

For thousands of years this region has been a productive home and crossroads for Native peoples traveling by kayak, dugout canoes and umiaks, and across land by foot, snow shoes and dogsleds.

"This region is full of scenic grandeur, and rich culture. The history, natural abundance and recreational opportunities set this corridor apart and make it a special place," said Marc Luiken, DOT&PF Commissioner.

Alaska Scenic Byways program was established in 1993 to recognize routes that provide access to our most scenic areas, cultural riches and recreational resources. Scenic byways are eligible for grant funding to help create unique travel experiences and enhance local quality of life through efforts to preserve, protect, interpret, and promote the qualities of the byway.

Details about the Alaska Scenic Byways program can be found at http://dot.alaska.gov/scenic.

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