Iowa highlighting beauty, history in state with new Byways

Governor Terry Branstad announced the addition of three new scenic state byways and additions...
Governor Terry Branstad announced the addition of three new scenic state byways and additions to three more on Monday, October 31, 2016. (Courtesy: KCCI)(KCRG)
Published: Oct. 31, 2016 at 6:14 PM CDT
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In an effort to promote the state's beautiful scenery and rich history, the state is adding three new byways and improving a few others.

Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds were joined by Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino Monday in Des Moines for the announcement.

The Byways include the Bridges Byway in Madison County, the Jefferson Highway Heritage Byway and the White Pole Road Byway.

The Madison County Byway is an 82 mile route featuring the iconic covered bridges as well as the birthplace of John Wayne.

The Jefferson Byway stretches between Northwood and Lamoni along the historic north-south U.S. border to border route originally envisioned in 1916.

The White Pole Road Byway will go between Adair and Dexter on a 26 mile route.

The state plans to extend three current Byways, including one in northeast Iowa.

The Driftless Area Scenic Byway takes you along bluffs and shows you the beauty of northeast Iowa in Allamakee County. It currently takes you from Postville, through the Yellow River State Forest, then through Waukon and Lansing. The state will now add a 44 mile loop into Winneshiek County to Decorah. The extension will add cold water trout streams, topographical features unique to that area and crews will pave a graveled area of the road.

"We think there's a lot of people that want to learn about their history and heritage, want to see interesting historic sites and this gives them information about that," said Governor Branstad.

Iowa Department of Transportation crews will add signs and improve roads so that it's ready to go by the 2018 tourism season.

For a list of all of the byways,