The Chinook Scenic Byway was recently awarded a $59,495 grant from US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. This is one of five grants awarded in 2012 to byway organizations in the state of Washington through the National Scenic Byways Program.
The grant will fund an update to the existing Chinook Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan to incorporate the entire 86 miles of the byway. The byway follows state Route 410 from Enumclaw through the communities of Greenwater and Cliffdell; along the Mather Memorial Parkway through the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest, Mount Rainier National Park and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest; to the town of Naches.
When the byway was designated an All American Road in 1998, a Corridor Management Plan was completed for the western portion of the byway. The new CMP will build on this previous effort to:
• Include the eastern section of the byway, engaging stakeholders in Cliffdell, Naches and Yakima, focusing on the byway traveler benefits
• Update the CMP information for the west and central sections of the byway
• Develop a focused action plan of projects for the next 10 years
It is anticipated that the plan will focus on: improved wayfinding signs, traveler information, visitor services, and targeted capital improvements that will make the Chinook Scenic Byway a “must see” destination for byway travelers.
The planning process will also further define the existing partnership between the Chinook Scenic Byway and the White Pass National Scenic Byway, looking specifically at the connecting road, SR 123 through Mount Rainier National Park, to increase the overall visitor experience.