U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis on Tuesday today announced the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has designated Illinois’ portion of the Great River Road along the Mississippi River as an All-American Road for its historic and cultural significance.
The designation was made pursuant to the Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019, which Davis voted to approve, and aims to recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads.
Nationally, 49 new designations to the America’s Byways collection, including 15 All-American Roads and 34 National Scenic Byways in 28 states, were made. This increases the number of America’s Byways to 184 across 48 states. The designations are made based on nationally significant intrinsic qualities (archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic.) NSBs must meet one of those six designation criteria whereas AARs must meet two.
“This designation will bring more regional and national attention to the Great River Road National Scenic Byway which should increase tourism activity that supports many communities I serve. As I’m in the area often I look forward to driving the road next time knowing I’m on a true All-American Road recognized for its historic and cultural importance, ” said Davis.
“It is such an honor to have Illinois’ portion of the Great River Road designated an All-American Road. The byway is certainly one of the most scenic drives in the United States and showcases the amazing beauty of the Mississippi River and surrounding river bluffs as it stretches the length of the state. Where else can you enjoy seeing the confluence of America’s three great rivers, the Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois rivers? Or watch eagles soar over the bluffs and waterways in their natural habitat? The Great River Road National Scenic Byway is a treasure for our region and Illinois. The byway shines each season – winter, spring, summer and fall – and brings travelers to Illinois and the Great Rivers & Routes region who are seeking a tranquil, scenic drive that overflows with historic and cultural significance. The byway celebrates the beauty and splendor that is unique to the Midwest,” said Cory Jobe, president and CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau.
Photo from Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau website.