JUNEAU (AP) -- The federal government has recognized the Alaska Marine Highway and the Glenn Highway as National Scenic Byways.
The two were among 35 roads around the country to receive the designation Thursday from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Diane Regan, scenic byways coordinator with the state Department of Transportation, said the ferry system is the first water-based route in the nation to achieve the status.
To qualify, a road must have significant scenic, natural, recreational, historical, archaeological or cultural qualities.
The designation could help promote tourism on the routes, said Gov. Tony Knowles' spokesman Bob King.
The routes will also receive a higher ranking in competition for grants for planning, marketing and building wayside stops and interpretive displays, Regan said. The designation won't bring any money for normal maintenance.
The only other Alaska highway with such a federal designation is the Seward Highway, which is an All-American Road. That's a higher status than a national scenic byway, Regan said.
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