Route 100 to be a scenic byway

MIDDLEBURY - The proposed Vermont Scenic Byway Designation of Route 100 has been a long time coming, according to community leaders involved in the project. The plan, when realized, is expected to increase tourism and the local economies of towns along the byway.

The movement to re-image the highway as both a tourist and economic artery is the result of a joint effort of representatives from several towns, including Pittsfield, Killington, Bridgewater, Plymouth, Ludlow and Andover, the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Office of Killington Economic Development and Tourism, several local businesses, and the Southern Windsor County/Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commissions.

This designation offers travelers historic, cultural, scenic and recreational information and waypoint centers about the towns and villages along the byway, according to byway publicity materials.

The corridor committee has finalized its corridor management plan that identifies these resources along the Route 100 Byway, according to Marji Graf of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Graf said the plan also includes a vision for the future of the byway and strategies to improve and enhance the resources and destinations along the way.

Route 100 slices through Vermont's ancient, rocky backbone. There are many spectacular mountain views along the highway. Route 100 starts (or ends, depending on your compass points)at the Canadian border and ends at the Massachusetts state line. It is the longest Vermont state highway route. Travel Guide of America claims that many photographers consider Route 100 to be "the best route in the state for viewing fall foliage."

A public meeting of the Vermont Scenery Preservation Council wil be held March 24 at 7 p.m. at the President Calvin Coolidge Museum and Education Center at 3780 Route 100a in Plymouth. The planning committee will present its byway plans. Public attendance is welcomed.

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