AMES — The U.S. Secretary of Transportation announced Friday that the Iowa Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway has been designated a National Scenic Byway.

Lincoln Highway is one of 34 newly designated National Scenic Byways, the Department of Transportation said, joining 150 byways in the national program.

The byway will be known as the Lincoln Highway National Heritage Byway. Prairie Rivers of Iowa Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Coordinator Jan Gammon said the 460 miles of the byway in Iowa joins the Nebraska and Illinois sections to make more than 1,000 miles of continuous byway in three states, a press release said.

The road passes through 13 counties and 43 communities in Iowa,

In 1991, a group of Iowans formed the Greene County Lincoln Highway Association to help preserve the Eureka Bridge just west of Jefferson. One year later, the national Lincoln Highway Association was reborn. The Iowa chapter of the LHA applied to have the Iowa section of the Lincoln Highway included in the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byway program. The application was approved in 2006, the press release said.

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