Northeast Iowa RC&D and the Iowa Department of Transportation are excited to see the installation of new byway signage along a 44-mile extension of the Driftless Area Scenic Byway into Winneshiek County.
Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, a non-profit organization looking to help improve, protect and develop the areas economic, natural and social resources, collaborated with the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Driftless Area Scenic Byway Board to extend the route into Winneshiek County. The byway changes come following a review of permanent route change applications evaluated by the Iowa Byways Advisory Council in 2014.
Independently ranked as the “most scenic state byway in Iowa,” the 100-mile Driftless Area Scenic Byway used to only weave through Allamakee County. The newly signed extension adds 44-miles to the route, looping it through Winneshiek County, and providing travelers with an opportunity to drive some of the most scenic roads in Winneshiek County all while experiencing the areas natural beauty, history, and culture.
The new signs, which will have the same design as those on the existing portions of the route, were originally designed with input from the Byway’s Board of Directors. They depict colorful fall leaves and were developed in 2011 when Iowa was one of the first states in the nation to develop artistic, coordinated, distinct graphic designs for all of its byways.
Scenic Byway Coordinator Jared Nielsen of Northeast Iowa RC&D confirmed that the newly signed route travels west along A-26 across the northern portion of Winneshiek County before dropping south on North Winn Road and Highway 52, then east again at Decorah. Nielsen noted, “The newly signed route brings visitors right into the heart of Decorah along Water Street before taking them back to Allamakee County via Old Stage Road.” Nielsen worked with the local Driftless Area Scenic Byway Board to develop and propose the byway extension to the Iowa DOT.
Byway sign placement along city, county, and state highway for the extension was completed in September of 2018. Throughout installation, contractors and coordinators worked with the various communities and counties along the byway to ensure proper signage locations and installation types were completed.
For more information, please contact Driftless Area Scenic Byway Coordinator, Jared Nielsen at 563-864-1772 or visit www.northeastiowarcd.org or www.iowabyways.org.