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Delaware Department of Transportation

Delaware Byways

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a byway?

A byway is a transportation route which is adjacent to or travels through an area that has particular intrinsic scenic, historic, natural, cultural, recreational or archeological qualities. It is a road corridor that offers an alternative travel to our major highways, while telling a story about Delaware's heritage, recreational activities or beauty. It is a route that is managed in order to protect its special intrinsic qualities and to encourage appreciation and/or development of tourism and recreational resources.

Who can nominate a route to become a byway?

Any interested party can nominate a route, including individuals; local governments; counties; tourism departments; historical societies; non-profit organizations; state and federal agencies; or a Corridor Advocacy Group formed of citizens, groups or local governments. The party nominating a route is called the sponsor.

What information is required for the nomination?

The following are required for nominating a byway:

  • A physical description of the route
  • Representative photographs
  • A map indicating the boundaries of the route that locates the intrinsic qualities along the corridor, and indicates land uses in the corridor
  • An intrinsic quality resource inventory
  • A written statement that summarizes and evaluates the significance of the primary intrinsic quality for which the highway merits designation and that also describes the significance of any secondary intrinsic qualities present along the route
  • A written description of what a traveler will see when traversing the corridor
  • A description of public involvement conducted to date and the comments and input that have resulted from this process

Who reviews the nomination and what is the review process?

There is an Evaluation Committee that reviews the nomination. This Committee is composed of representatives from DelDOT, Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, State Historic and Preservation Office, and the State Tourism Office. This Evaluation Committee jointly makes a recommendation to DelDOT's Director of Planning. If the Evaluation Committee's recommendation is that the nomination is not complete or should not be approved, DelDOT's Director of Planning will return the nomination application to the sponsor with a letter that specifies reasons for the disapproval and includes recommendations for how the application could be resubmitted, if appropriate.

If the Evaluation Committee's joint recommendation to the Director of Planning is favorable, the Director of Planning reviews the application and submits it with the Evaluation Committee's recommendation and with his/her recommendation to the Delaware Byways Advisory Board for review. If the Advisory Board recommends approval, the application is submitted to the Secretary of Transportation for review and a final decision.

What is the timeline for review of nomination applications?

There will be ongoing reviews of nomination applications by the Evaluation Committee and by the Advisory Board. As a guideline, DelDOT will issue a response to the applicant within 120 days from the time that a complete nomination application is received.

Who designates a roadway as a Delaware Byway?

Designation is made by Delaware's Secretary of Transportation based on submission of the nomination application, joint review by the Evaluation Committee of state agency representatives, review by DelDOT's Director of Planning and then review and recommendation for approval by the Advisory Board.

What are the benefits of getting a designation?

A designation provides official recognition of the special nature of a roadway corridor. This designation will heighten awareness and recognition of the community seeking the designation and help to boost community pride.

Additional community benefits may include:

  • Increased business, tax revenue, and jobs from tourist dollars
  • Federal and state funding for planning and implementing a corridor plan
  • Protection for a resource that may become threatened
  • Improved maintenance for your road
  • Access to resources and expert assistance in managing the corridor
  • Identification on state highway maps, leading to more tourism opportunities for the area
  • Assistance from state offices of economic development and tourism

What is a Corridor Management Plan?

A Corridor Management Plan (CMP) is a written document in which the byway sponsor lays out the vision, goals and responsibilities for conserving and enhancing the corridor's most valuable qualities and describes how this will benefit economic development through tourism and recreational opportunities. The CMP presents a strategy for balancing concern for the intrinsic resources with the visitor's opportunity to experience the byway. It explains how the participants are involved in and responsible for implementing the CMP. Each byway is required to complete a CMP within 5 years of designation.

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