JEFFERSON CITY – A proposed 375-mile-long scenic byway is headed to several communities for public meetings and a vote of approval. The Scenic Missouri group submitted the proposal, called “Ozark Run,” to the Missouri Department of Transportation, which is authorized to create a state system of scenic byways to preserve cultural, natural, archeological, rustic, historic or recreational roads for the traveling public.
The proposal involves six routes (Missouri Routes 21, 185, 106, and 19, and U.S. Routes 63 and 160), 11 counties (St. Louis, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Iron, Reynolds, Shannon, Oregon, Howell, Ozark and Taney), and eight incorporated towns (Hillsboro, Sullivan, Caledonia, Centerville, Ellington, Eminence, Alton and Forsyth).
The route runs from St. Louis south to the St. Francois Mountains, across the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, west past Bull Shoals Lakes, and ends near Branson.
Each governmental agency located along the proposed route will receive a “Written Notice of Intent” requesting a public meeting be held within the next 30 days. The local cities and counties then must approve or disapprove the scenic byway designation through their communities.
The application requires 100% local government approval before it’s taken to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for approval and official designation.