Three Boulder City routes were recently designated as scenic byways by the Nevada Transportation Department.
The three segments were Nevada Way from Buchanan Road to Nob Hill Road; Nevada Way from Nob Hill Road to U.S. Highway 93; and State Route 172 from U.S. 93 to the Arizona border of Hoover Dam.
As scenic byways, the department said it will maintain and enhance their scenic qualities, assure proper signage, facilitate federal funding for projects related to scenic routes, and prepare agreements to ensure federal funds are expended properly on projects related to scenic byways.
The Bureau of Reclamation nominated the roads as scenic byways. The roads were reviewed in January by a six-person committee with members from the Transportation Department, the Bureau of Land Management, the Federal Highway Administration, and Nevada State Parks. State Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon signed the letter May 15 that designated the routes as scenic byways.
Several criteria were used, including scenic quality, length and potential change. All roads must be at least 1 mile to be considered a scenic byway, the department said.
Some features taken into consideration were color, landform, historical features, vegetation and uniqueness. Scores ranged from 0-12.
The three Boulder City segments scored well in landform, historical features, uniqueness, color and water. However, evaluators scored them low on industry, utility lines, suburban sprawl and highway.
The committee took sensitivity into consideration, which described how vulnerable a roadway is to change that could degrade or threaten its scenic quality, department spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said,.
The Boulder City roads scored well in the sensitivity category, which included average daily traffic, scenic quality and land ownership.
Roads with high volumes of traffic, large amounts of privately held land and high scenic quality have the potential to be the focus of protective efforts, the department said.
The Nevada Scenic Byways Program and the America’s Byways program consider potential scenic byways. The America’s Byways program is no longer funded by the federal government, so national scenic byways no longer receive money for maintenance.
In 1983, the state Legislature established the scenic byways program in Nevada. The Transportation Department is the lead agency for the program and the director has the authority to establish a scenic byway. There are more than 20 scenic byways in Nevada that total more than 420 miles.