White Cloud, Iowa Point and Troy are among 39 locations across the state that have received new or upgraded Kansas Byway interpretive signs.
The Kansas Byways Program was established in1991 to help display the states heritage and revitalize the economy through tourism. It is managed jointly by the Kansas Historical Society (KHS), the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The program currently consists of three historic byways and nine scenic byways including Doniphan County.
“Our county has some absolutely beautiful locations,” said Leah Johnson, Doniphan County Economic Development Director. “We’re very lucky to have the state place money into highlighting our scenic landmarks.”
The Glacial Hills Scenic Byways route is 63 miles long and lasts 1 hour and 6 minutes without stops to Leavenworth.
Introducing the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway route is White Cloud. There, a double-sided kiosk sits just along the Missouri River displaying a map of the route from start to finish. It also draws attention to White Cloud’s former 1872 school, the Mah-Hush-kah Historical Museum and the Four State Lookout.
Heading south on the scenic path leads to Iowa Point where an interpretive signage plaza houses three panel surfaces that provide information about The Barns of Doniphan County (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) as well as the story of the ancient ice glaciers that covered northeastern Kansas leaving behind fertile soil, scenic steep hills and large river systems.
Follow the welcome boards 13 miles to Troy and another interpretive signage plaza with three more panel surfaces await travelers with historical facts highlighting the early days of the city. Prominent attractions include Troy’s historical County Courthouse Square, the Tall Oak by Peter Toth hand-carved sculpture, Nelson Rodgers House, the oldest structure in town and Troy Station, the first relay stop for the Pony Express after St. Joseph.
Kansas Byways Program Coordinator Sue Stringer states that the latest $1.44 billion project included five new kiosks housing interpretive panels, the rehabilitation of 12 existing kiosks and their signs, 26 interpretive signage plazas and 12 Kansas Byway welcome boards.
“In all, 142 panel surfaces were produced,” she said.
Stringer also explained that in 2010, KDOT and KWPT received a $220,000 National Scenic Byway grant from the FHWA to develop the Kansas Byways Interpretive Plan. The 20 percent match of $44,000 was evenly split by KDOT and KWPT. The basis for the signage project was completed by Fermata, Inc. of Austin, Texas.
KDWPT then received a two-phase Transportation Alternative Grant in 2014 from the FHWA for design and construction. At that time, RDG Planning and Design of Omaha, Nebraska was responsible for the design phase and GSR Construction , Inc., of Lawrence served as the general contractor for the construction phase. KDWPT paid the required 20 percent match for each phase.
For more information about Kansas Byways or to nominate a road for Kansas Byways designation visit www.travelkansas.com.