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Monday, February 25, 2013

Hawaii Department of Transportation Seeks Nominations for Scenic Byways Program

The Ka`u Scenic Byway reaches into Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park. Photo by Peter Anderson

HONOLULU – The State Department of Transportation announced is 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 are available at  

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 archaeological, 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

Currently, Hawaii has four major scenic byways 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

The process for selection as a State Designated Scenic Byway begins with this initial nomination application.
Corridors and roadways may be considered if they are public roads five miles or more in length. Eligible byway sponsors include public agencies and non-profit (501c3) organizations.  

Important dates for nomination:
Mar. 1: Informational Teleconference
Mar. 15: Written Requests for Clarification due
Mar. 29: Nomination applications due
Nomination information and application documents are available to download; be sure to check Scenic Byways website for details

Please write David Zevenbergen or Kashmira Reid for any questions about this process.

And please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested in nominating a scenic byway in 2013. 

Punalu`u Black Sand Beach just off the Hwy 11 Ka`u Scenic Byway. Photo by Peter Anderson

 For more information regarding Hawaii’s Scenic Byways, please visit  and for information regarding Byways throughout the
U.S., please visit

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