The U.S. Secretary of Transportation has announced that the Iowa Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway was chosen as one of 34 newly designated National Scenic Byways joining 150 already designated in the national program.
Prairie Rivers of Iowa submitted an 830-page application to the Federal Highway Administration, a news release says.
Moving forward, the byway will be known as the Lincoln Highway National Heritage Byway, which includes DeWitt.
“With this honor, the Iowa section of the Lincoln Highway will continue to gain visibility worldwide and build and expand on the opportunities to market traveling along Iowa’s section to the globe,” said Prairie Rivers of Iowa Executive Director Penny Brown Huber.
“We are very excited for the 460 miles of the byway in Iowa to be named a new National Scenic Byway,” said Prairie Rivers of Iowa Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator Jan Gammon.
The road passes through 13 counties and 43 communities in Iowa with much history to be shared with travelers.
In 1991, a group of Iowans formed the Greene County Lincoln Highway Association to help preserve the Eureka Bridge just west of Jefferson. One year later, the national Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) was reborn.
The Iowa chapter of the LHA applied to have the Iowa section of the Lincoln Highway included in the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byway program. The application was approved in 2006. Two of Greene county residents, and long-time byway supporters, are Bob and Joyce Ausberger.
According to the Ausbergers, “This is great news for the Iowa Lincoln Highway. Prairie Rivers of Iowa and other organizations helped with planning, hard work and perseverance to make this dream come true. The Lincoln Highway in Iowa has now been raised to the national level it deserve.”
A ribbon-cutting celebration is being planned for some time this spring. Visit prrcd.org or the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway on Facebook to learn more.