Four projects request federal scenic byway funds

Funding has been requested through the Federal Highways Administration’s scenic byway program for four projects in Idaho, according to ITD’s Division of Transportation Performance.

A newsletter distributed last week by the division lists the following excerpts from the application narratives for each of the successful projects:

Signage Along the Sawtooth, Salmon River and Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byways
$65,100 – Districts 3, 4 and 6

The Sawtooth, Salmon River and Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byways lead byway travelers on a combined 407-mile adventure through some of Idaho’s most spectacular landscapes. These three incredibly scenic routes converge in the heart of Idaho - the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

This area and the travel routes that lead visitors here are recognized as “gems” within the state and within the Forest Service. The proposed projects will enhance the interpretive and travel information available to travelers on these three byways. The gateway portal site developments will be an important resource for byway travelers to find byway and travel information including the recreational opportunities in the area.

The proposed Salmon River interpretive signs will complement existing signs along the river corridor that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Idaho Fish and Game have already installed. These signs are part of a joint project designed to provide a cohesive and seamless interpretive effort along the Salmon River from the headwaters to North Fork for both byway travelers and river users.

Corridor Management Plan for the Payette River National Scenic Byway
$17,700 – District 3

The Payette River National Scenic Byway (PRSB) Corridor Management Plan (CMP) Update Project will renew partnerships with business owners, federal and state land managers, recreation providers, community members and elected leaders from the six cities and four counties that the byway intersects.

Together, these stakeholders will update the PRSB’s 2001 CMP to once-again make the CMP the cornerstone of good planning that the byway needs to provide long-term and sustainable intrinsic qualities.

Signage Along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway
$28,623 – District 4

This project will implement the Interpretative Values defined in the Thousand Springs Corridor Management Plan and directional signage priorities developed by the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway Committee in collaboration with stakeholders - private entities, local, state and federal agencies. The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway Committee is seeking funding for both types of signage for this project - interpretative and directional.

The interpretative signs coordinate the themes used at the portal kiosks of the Byway and complement the interpretative messages of Idaho Power Company at the Malad River Overlook and Idaho Parks and Recreation at Billingsley Creek Unit of Thousand Springs State Park.

The intent of this project is to highlight the overall Byway experience while emphasizing pertinent details at the specific sites to foster understanding and enjoyment of our traveler as they journey along the byway.

This project will develop the capacity of the Byway in conjunction with the development of the Hagerman Wildlife Viewing Area, and the installation of updated Byway map boards at designated sites; both projects are due to commence in June 2011.

Stop/Interpretive Center on the International Selkirk Loop in Sandpoint
$220,709 – District 1

Designated one of only 32 All-American Road National Scenic Byways in the U.S., the International Selkirk Loop (ISL) - a 450 km / 280-mile scenic drive encircling the spectacular Selkirk Mountains in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia - is America’s only multi-national loop.

The city of Sandpoint and U.S. Highway 95 are the most traveled entry point or “gateway” to the ISL, including entry points in Washington or British Columbia. The city of Sandpoint, in partnership with the Idaho Transportation Department will build a visitor and interpretive center – a “gateway” – at the entrance to the city of Sandpoint.

With the exception of Nelson, B.C. in Canada, Sandpoint, is the largest city and “metro area” in the 280-mile Byway loop (about 15,000 people that includes three very small neighbor cities), providing the most urban services and significant recreational and scenic benefits to the byway traveler.

Published 8-26-2011