Tallahassee, Florida – The U.S. Secretary of Transportation has given national designation to four Florida Scenic Highways as part of the America’s Byways prestigious collection. The Florida Scenic Highways receiving the National Scenic Byways designation are the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway on SR 40 in the Ocala National Forest, the Big Bend Scenic Byway in north Florida, and Ormond Beach Scenic Loop and Trail in Volusia County. The Florida Keys Scenic Highway along U.S. 1 in southeast Florida was named an All-American Road.
On Saturday, October 24, 2009, the newly designated Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway will have its official designation celebration. In addition to receiving designation by the Florida Department of Transportation as a Florida Scenic Highway, this corridor was recently designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and now represents one of the collections of distinct and diverse roads in America.
A day-long celebration is planned at the 4-H Camp in the Ocala National Forest, just off S.R. 19, four (4) miles south of SR 40. The event begins at 10am, and is sponsored by the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway Corridor Management Entity. This event is open to the general public.
These roads will now be marketed by FHWA as part of the America’s Byways collection in all their materials and Web sites. The Florida Department of Transportation will place signs along these roads with the America’s Byways Logo underneath the current Florida Scenic Highway signs to let the traveling public of the distinction.
The Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a founding member of Corridor Management Entity and supports the Byway efforts with staff and organizational support. For more information please visit the byway website at www.floridablackbearscenicbyway.org.
“This additional designation enhances the basic scenic byway concept of preserving the important scenic, natural, historic and recreational resources of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway,” said Lake-Sumter MPO Board Member and Lake County Commissioner Linda Stewart.