Three segments of road in DeSoto County are now a part of the Mississippi Scenic Byways Program.
Senate Bill 2491, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant earlier in March, creates the Delta Bluffs Scenic Byway. The legislation was introduced by the DeSoto County delegation of the Legislature.
The Scenic Byways Program designates highways, roads and certain street corners in an effort to preserve the history around them. Other byways that have earned the designation include the Natchez Trace, the Great River Road along the Mississippi River and the Longleaf Trace Trails in South Mississippi. In all, there are more than 40 byway designations across the state.
The program, part of the National Scenic Byways Program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, is designed to unlock a designee’s tourism potential.
Delta Bluffs Scenic Byway will have three segments. The northern part will begin at the intersection of Austin Road and Mississippi Highway 301 in DeSoto County and run westward into the Mississippi Delta. The southern branch will begin at the same intersection and run south toward Arkabutla Lake. The east-west branch will begin at Interstate 55 at state Highway 304 in Hernando and run west.
A Corridor Advocacy Group made up on citizens, businesses and their interests, civic groups and local officials will manage the byway. The group will develop a long-term plan for the byway, formulate and carry out specific goals, institute a work plan and create a community participation program.