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Jun 28, 2014 2:38 PM by AP

Scenic corridor plan advances in Jeff Davis

LAKE ARTHUR, La. (AP) - Plans for a proposed scenic Flyway Byway through Jefferson Davis Parish are moving closer to reality.

Consultants held a final management review session in Lake Arthur to present a draft of the Corridor Management Plan for the new state-designated byway.

"It's the road map for what the byway can be for all the communities of this parish," consultant David Dahlquist said.

The American Press reported the Flyway Byway is a proposed 55-mile scenic driving route with bicycle trails, waterways - called blueways in the plan - and walking paths meandering through the parish.

The route forms an enclosed loop linking Jennings, Lake Arthur, Welsh and Roanoke. Two short spurs would connect the byway with Interstate 10 to the north and two spurs would extend the byway to the Cameron Parish line.

"I don't know of another byway in the country that is thinking this broadly and offering visitors these kinds of options," Dahlquist said.

The byway is one of 17 being developed in Louisiana to attract tourists, according to Doug Bourgeois, director of the Louisiana Byways Collection.

"Those byways tell, not only the local stories, but about the state of Louisiana and now we are adding our stories of Louisiana," Dahlquist said.

Jefferson Davis Parish tourism and economic development Director Marion "Butch" Fox said the byway is a way to bring recognition to the parish and attract visitors and businesses.

"We are excited about the Flyway Byway and the potential for bringing new dollars into our communities from visitors," Fox said. "There is a lot of excitement going on, and people are finally realizing we live in the best place in Louisiana."

The eight-section Corridor Management Plan is one of the last steps in preparing the plan for final adoption, Dahlquist said. The plan will be reviewed for the next three weeks before final adoption by the byway board, he said.

A draft of the visitors map and experience guide was also unveiled to the public. The guide includes a small birding guide and community maps with listings of attractions, restaurants and lodging.

A website and app are also in the works, Bourgeois said. "We need to get people off the main routes to learn more about our state," he said. "Louisiana has so many great communities, and we need to market them."

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