FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2012) — Federal grants have been awarded for enhancement of two of Kentucky’s National Scenic Byways – the Kentucky Great River Road, in the Jackson Purchase, and a portion of the Lincoln Heritage corridor in central Kentucky, announced Gov. Steve Beshear.
“Our National Scenic Byways offer countless opportunities for people to learn about and experience the richness of our Kentucky history, culture and natural beauty,” he said. “The grants being announced today will fund systems of highway and trail signs that will further enhance that experience.”
The grants, from the Federal Highway Administration, are:
— $120,330 for comprehensive signage along the Kentucky Great River Road, which threads through the four Kentucky counties that lie along the Mississippi River.
— $75,100 for interpretive and trail-designation signage on the Lincoln Heritage corridor in LaRue, Nelson, Washington and Boyle counties.
The Kentucky Great River Road is part of a national corridor stretching the length of the Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. In Kentucky, it is a 63-mile highway network running through Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman and Fulton counties, which collectively form the westernmost border of the state. The designated byway follows sections of U.S. 51 and Kentucky Routes 1203, 123, 239 and 94. It was designated a National Scenic Byway in 2009.
New roadway and trail signs are part of the corridor management plan of the sponsoring group, Kentucky Great River Region Organization Inc. The project includes design, fabrication and installation of uniform signage marking the byway’s many adventure trails, including Kentucky’s portion of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. To promote safety, signage also will alert motorists to the presence of other travelers, such as bicyclists and horseback riders.
Like Kentucky Great River Road, the Lincoln Heritage Highway was designated a National Scenic Byway in 2009. The grant will fund signage along U.S. 31E from Hodgenville to Bardstown and U.S. 150 from Bardstown to Danville.
The sponsoring organization, Lincoln Heritage Byway Advisory Committee, plans to fabricate and install 56 “trailblazing” and four “gateway” signs to help travelers enter and navigate the route. In addition, 12 interpretive panels explaining the area’s historical and cultural importance will be distributed along the route.
The grants are to be administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Funding is in the form of reimbursement for work coordinated by the byway sponsors.
Congress established the National Scenic Byways Program in 1991 to preserve and protect routes that are “regionally significant,” have intrinsic value and promote tourism and economic development.