TRAPPE, Md. — U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., joined state and local officials at the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park on Sunday to celebrate the inclusion of the Chesapeake Country All-American Road in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “America’s Byways” collection.
The 419-mile byway from Chesapeake City to Crisfield was touted as a way to expand tourism and economic opportunities throughout the Eastern Shore.
“It’s about showing off the Eastern Shore of Maryland,” Sen. Cardin said. “What an incredible piece of America is here.”
The Chesapeake Country All-American Road was one of 49 new designations to the America’s Byways collection, including 15 All-American Roads and 34 National Scenic Byways in 28 states, announced by the Federal Highway Administration in February. These new designations were the first made following the passage of the bipartisan Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019, legislation Sen. Cardin championed.
The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 404-19. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., who represents the district where the road is located, was opposed.
Mark Falzone, president of Scenic America, said, “Scenic Byways are economic catalysts,” not just as connectors but as destinations of their own. Tourism is one of the state’s top moneymakers, with $18.6 billion and 150,000 jobs generated in 2019, Mr. Falzone said.
“We’re getting national attention,” he said. “This is a great moment for our state.”
Before the All-American Road designation, only part of the Chesapeake Country route, from Kent County to Queen Anne’s County, was considered a national scenic byway.
They are not designated every day — in fact, more than a decade passed since the last ones were named.
“We waited 12 years for this moment,” Mr. Falzone said. “Sen. Cardin made it happen.”
Among the officials joining Sen. Cardin were Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Elizabeth Fitzsimmons of the Maryland Office of Tourism; state Sen. Addie Eckardt; Corey Pack of the Talbot County Council; Cassandra Vanhooser of Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism; Gail Owings of Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area; Amanda Fenstermaker of the Dorchester County Office of Tourism and the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area; and Jeff Parenteau of the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park.