HONOLULU – The state Department of Transportation announced today that we are seeking nominations for the annual Hawaii Scenic Byways Program. The Hawaii Scenic Byways Program is part of the National Scenic Byways Program that showcases roads throughout Hawaii with an important story to tell to both visitors and local residents alike. Program guidelines and nomination applications will be available at www.hawaiiscenicbyways.org beginning Friday, February 1, 2013, and nominations are due on Friday, March 29, 2013, by 4:00 p.m.
An individual corridor can become a designated byway by possessing specific “intrinsic qualities” identified as archeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and/or scenic. Byway-sponsoring organizations collaborate with government agencies, businesses and community groups to protect, preserve and enhance special features and sites along the route. Local government agencies or 501c3 non-profit organizations are eligible to sponsor a scenic byway. These sponsors should be ready and willing to organize local efforts to plan for the future of the byway.
The National Scenic Byways Program, under the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, was created to compile and identify a distinctive collection of American roads, their stories, and treasured places. The Hawaii Scenic Byways Program was developed using the National Program as a model and started in 2009. It is a volunteer-based, grassroots-driven program that recognizes and supports outstanding roads across the state. The program provides technical resources to help local governments or community sponsors identify and document the unique qualities and assets that each byway has to offer. Once local byway status is achieved its information is published on the National byways website.
Administratively, the program falls under the State Department of Transportation. According to state DOT Director, Glenn Okimoto, “This is an opportunity for Hawaii to give recognition to significant roadways throughout our state and support community planning efforts. We invite and encourage all interested parties to become part of this process.”
Currently, Hawaii has four major scenicbyways statewide including: Mamalahoa Kona Heritage Corridor, Royal Footsteps Along the Kona Coast, Ka’u Scenic Byway-The Slopes of Mauna Loa, all on Hawaii Island, and the HoloHolo Koloa Scenic Byway on Kauai.