Mississippi Legislature approves new scenic byways

Mississippi Legislature approves new scenic byways

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from MDOT

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced today the establishment of the Gulf Coast Scenic Byway and the William Faulkner Scenic Byway, and the addition of a new segment to the Delta Bluffs Scenic Byway.

During the 2015 Regular Session, the Mississippi Legislature passed legislation naming the two new scenic byways. Legislation was also passed adding a segment to the already established Delta Bluffs Scenic Byway.

“The Mississippi Scenic Byways Program showcases the natural beauty and history of our state,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “The towns along these byways provide a glimpse into Mississippi's past and are a vital part of our state's future. Travelers will experience history firsthand as they travel along the routes and through the towns of our scenic byways.”

Senate Bill 2570, sponsored by Sens. Sean J. Tindell (District 49), Tommy A. Gollott (District 50), Philip Moran (District 46), Brice Wiggins (District 52) and Deborah Jeanne Dawkins (District 48), designates routes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as the “Gulf Coast Scenic Byway.” It will begin at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Beach Boulevard in Bay St. Louis and continue for 19 miles ending at the intersection of DeBuys Road and Hwy. 90. At its end point, the Gulf Coast Scenic Byway will connect to the existing Beach Boulevard Scenic Byway.

House Bill 1013, sponsored by Reps. Brad Mayo (District 12), Randall Patterson (District 115) and John W. Hines, Sr. (District 50), designates routes in Lafayette and Union Counties as the “William Faulkner Scenic Byway.” It begins at the intersection of Hwy. 30 and County Road 14 in Union County and continues west along Hwy. 30 to its intersection with County Road 229 in Lafayette County.

House Bill 1013 also adds an additional segment to the Delta Bluffs Scenic Byway in DeSoto County. The Byway now includes the Robertson Gin Road extension. The new segment begins at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and Commerce Street in DeSoto County and continues south along U.S. 51 to Oak Grove Road. It then extends westward on Oak Grove Road to Robertson Gin Road, then extends south along Robertson Gin Road to Wheeler Road. It continues westward along Wheeler Road to its point of terminus at Hernando Point at Arkabutla Lake.

The Mississippi Scenic Byways Program is a grassroots effort designed to increase the focus on Mississippi's history and intrinsic resources. The intent of the program is to identify and designate highway, road and street corridors as scenic byways in an attempt to preserve, enhance and protect the state's intrinsic resources for visitors and residents of the state

There are two steps in the year long- process of designating a scenic byway including submitting an Eligibility Application and a Corridor Management Plan. The Scenic Byway Advisory Committee reviews both packets. Once the application makes it through these portions, then draft legislation will be written for designation of the byway and introduced at the next Legislative session in January of the following year. The final step is having the bill pass in the House and Senate, and ultimately being signed by the Governor.

Through community-based consensus building and the development of partnerships, a balance is established between conservation and land use that not only heightens the experience of travelers, but also improves the quality of life and promotes economic development in the communities along the path of the designated byway.

To request a map of Mississippi's scenic byways call MDOT Map Sales at 601-359-7045. For more information about the Mississippi Scenic Byways Program, visit

.

Copyright WDAM 2015. All rights reserved.