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Explore New Mexico's Scenic Byways

Originally created by congress through the funding and authorization bill ISTEA (1991), the National Scenic Byways program was intended to foster economic development through furnishing the upfront capital costs associated with developing transportation related tourist amenities throughout the United States. Subsequent funding allocations were made through SAFETEA-LU (2005), however MAP-21 (2012) effectively ended the program. Throughout the life of the Byways program numerous scenic drives throughout the Land of Enchantment have been embellished. These projects showcase the intrinsic scenic, historical and cultural qualities of our state while adding to its economic well-being.

Today, the Transportation Planning and Safety division manages remaining contracts from funding allocations made under SAFETEA-LU. While no new grants are being awarded under the Scenic Byways program, a few of the programs eligibilities have been rolled into the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Among these are activities such as the construction of turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas as well as some facilities to promote non-motorized travel. Some other changes under MAP-21 include that non-profits can no longer be lead of expenditures on Scenic Byways projects but must partner with a local government.

More information can be acquired by contacting NMDOT’s Scenic Byways coordinator below.

Aaron Detter, Scenic Byway Coordinator
Office: 505-827-5117