WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) announced $824,000 in federal funding for the Maryland Department of Transportation to improve Maryland’s scenic roads. This funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program will support updated byway facilities, safety enhancements, and historical and cultural information markers along the state’s historic roads, including: Baltimore’s Historic Charles Street, the Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, and the Religious Freedom Byway. Maryland also contains portions of the Historical National Road and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway.
“Maryland’s scenic byways allow residents and visitors alike to explore our diverse geography and treasured cultural heritage. With these funds, Maryland will be able to make necessary improvements to the safety, accessibility, and recreational quality of these byways across our state. We will continue working to secure funds like these that preserve Maryland’s historic roads and modernize our infrastructure,” said the lawmakers.
“Maryland has tremendous stories to tell across our scenic byways – stories of our state’s history, culture, recreational opportunity and environmental beauty,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “This grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will help us and our partners at the Maryland Office of Tourism tell those stories, bringing new visitors to our state and instilling great pride in our residents. We thank USDOT for the award, and appreciate the continued support of Maryland’s Congressional delegation.”
“Transpor-tourism is on the forefront of a synergistic approach of Maryland agencies, and this grant from USDOT will help us expand our outreach and provide greater opportunity for visitors to discover the history and beauty of our state,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, Managing Director of the Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Film.
Created in 1991, the National Scenic Byways Program aims to recognize, preserve, and enhance selected roads with scenic, historic, cultural, natural recreational, and archeological significance throughout the United States. The Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act, co-sponsored by both Senator Cardin and Senator Van Hollen and signed into law in September 2019, was the first step toward reinvigorating the program, and the lawmakers worked to invest in this program through new funding in fiscal year 2021 and increased fiscal year 2022 appropriations.