NJDOT announces accomplishments of the Scenic Byways program
(Trenton) – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced two major accomplishments made this month by the NJ Scenic Byways program.
NJDOT announced that on October 16, two NJ Scenic Byways, the Delaware River Scenic Byway and the Millstone Valley Scenic Byway, were designated as “National Scenic Byways” by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These are the first two National Scenic Byways to be selected in New Jersey.
"Having the Delaware River and Millstone Valley scenic byways named as New Jersey’s first two National Scenic Byways is a great honor,” said Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts. “New Jersey offers countless areas of natural beauty and cultural significance and we urge residents to visit and explore the state’s newly-designated National Scenic Byways.”
The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States.
When a scenic byway is designated as a National Scenic Byway, it is placed on the National Scenic Byway website at http://www.byways.org/explore/ and this allows the byway to receive greater recognition.
New Jersey is part of the National Scenic Byway program which was established in 1991 through the Intermodal Transportation Efficiency Act and recognizes transportation corridors with regionally outstanding significance and scenic, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, and natural qualities.
Also NJDOT announced that on October 9, the NJ Scenic Byways program received $776,725 in federal grant money through the 2009 National Scenic Byway Grant program. The grant money will fund four separate projects for three NJ Scenic Byways;
· Bayshore Heritage Byway: Corridor Management Plan $228,125
· Southern Pinelands Natural Heritage Trail: Byway Startup Efforts $26,000
· Delaware River Scenic Byway: D&R Canal Access Plans $288,800
· Delaware River Scenic Byway: Restroom Design and Construction $233,800
Since 1992, the National Scenic Byways Program has awarded almost $388 million in funding for more than 2,832 state, tribal and nationally designated byway projects in 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. FHWA awarded over $40 million in funding to 43 states for Scenic Byways related projects this year.
“NJDOT is thrilled to receive this federal funding to help further the progress on three of our NJ Scenic Byways,” Commissioner Dilts said. “These projects are important as we seek to expand public awareness of these corridors.”
NJDOT has seven designated Scenic Byways in the State of New Jersey. NJDOT designated the Route 57 Byway in Warren County and the Bayshore Heritage Byway in Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties earlier in 2009. The Delaware River Scenic Byway, Millstone Valley Scenic Byway, Pine Barrens Byway (formerly the Southern Pinelands Natural Heritage Trail), Palisades Interstate Parkway, and Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway have been previously dedicated.
The goals of the Scenic Byway program are to improve the quality of the byways; provide quality locations for recreational endeavors, expand public awareness of the corridors and to foster state and local partnerships with the federal government.