Vermont Receives nearly $800,000 in Byway GrantsMONTPELIER (November 24, 2008)- The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) announced today that three Vermont byways have received $797,000 in federal grants to help promote some of the Green Mountain State’s most celebrated roadways.The grants come at a particularly opportune time as this fall Vermont joined most of the other states across the country and began actively marketing its five designated byways.”Byways are created and maintained at the local level, and they provide a community or state region with a vehicle to tell their story to visitors.” said John LaBarge, Vermont’s program manager for byways. “The local residents decide what stories about their regions to share with visitors. In the process, many of them discover even more about how special their home really is.”Grants, which were made available as part of the National Scenic Byway Program, were given to the following Vermont byway organizations.* Lake Champlain Byway: $376,300.00 for the third phase of the River Walk Project in Vergennes, $73,840.00 for a corridor management plan, and $28,000 for recreational access inventory.* Connecticut River Byway: $251,360 for the production of sightseer guides to history on the Connecticut River Byway.* Stone Valley Byway: $67,500 for the development of promotional materials/website etc.The National Scenic Byway Program was designed as a vehicle to get travelers off the interstates and into towns and villages to learn about the culture and history of different areas around the United States. Information on Vermont’s byways can be found at http://www.vermont-byways.us(link is external).Byways are established around one or more of six intrinsic qualities: Archaeological, History, Culture, Scenic, Natural and Recreational. Grants can be used for a number of purposes including planning, marketing, interpretation, building waypoint/welcome centers, restoring historic sites, preserving land within a view shed, and updating or building recreational areas, overlooks and trial heads.”The byway program is a wonderful tourism and marketing tool,” LaBarge said.” They can help revitalize our villages and downtowns by providing visitor services, educational and recreational opportunities.”Vermont has five designated byways. They are:* The Connecticut River Byway: a two-state byway traversing over 425 miles along both sides of the Connecticut River.* The Lake Champlain Byway: which runs from Alburgh to Charlotte along Route 7 and also includes roadways in the towns of Vergennes and Middlebury.* The Mad River Byway: which runs along route 100B to route 100 and including the towns of Middlesex, Moretown, Waitsfield, Warren, Granville Gulf Reserve, Fayston, and Buell’s Gore to the top of the Appalachian Gap.* The Molly Stark Byway: which is located on Route 9 from Bennington to Brattleboro and honors the memory of General John Stark and his victory at the Battle of Bennington.* The Stone Valley Byway: which runs along Route 30 from Poultney to Manchester through the Mettawee Valley.