Bipartisan Bill to Protect America’s Scenic Byways Passed

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Washington, D.C. – There are some things Republicans and Democrats can agree on. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) co-authored legislation designed to promote and protect scenic roadways called The Reviving America's Scenic Byways Act of 2019.

That legislation passed both houses of Congress and is heading to the White House for the President to sign into law.

The law restarts the designation process for the National Scenic Byways Program. It's been ten years since any roadways received the designation from the voluntary, community-based Federal Highway Administration program preserving and enhancing selected roads throughout the United States. The roads in Maryland, Maine and across the country are recognized based on one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. One example being the Religious Freedom Scenic Byway that begins in Marbury and ends at Point Lookout State Park.

“This is a win for our local communities, local tourism, local economies and the environment. Maryland’s scenic byways are historic, recreational and educational treasures and millions of visitors traverse our great roads each year to take in Maryland’s natural beauty and rich history,” said Senator Cardin. “I appreciate the strong, bipartisan support for this national program that will help direct visitors to areas of interest along America’s Byways, preserve our cultural heritage and generate revenue for the surrounding communities. Reviving this grassroots program will be beneficial to future development and maintenance of these important routes.”

“Maine’s three National Scenic Byways, as well as the Acadia All-American Road, provide Mainers and tourists alike with spectacular views and memorable experiences.  These roadways also spur much-needed economic activity throughout our state,” said Senator Collins.  “The National Scenic Byways program represents a true win-win by protecting precious corridors and providing tangible benefits for local communities.  I am glad that our legislation was approved by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support.”

Since its inception in 1991, the National Scenic Byways Program has officially recognized 150 roads around the country.

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