Ideas sought for SRV Scenic Byway

The Byway Executive Committee is seeking ideas for expansion and improvements to the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway.
Contractor for the project is the engineering firm Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson.

A series of meetings have been set, with the next one 7 p.m Monday in Valley City at the Regional Tech Center on Winter Show Road, and the final one June 14 at 7 p.m. at the Sodbusters Club in Sibley.

According to a letter from KLJ, “We need your input. After 10 years the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway is ready to grow again.”
KLJ and the committee have installed national award-winning interpretation at 26 sites along the route and “developed/refurbished many amenities along the Byway route.”

Meeting sponsors want to figure out “what amenities can be added,” put together new ideas about marketing, update the corridor management plan, and talk about possibly expanding the byway to the Ronald Reagan Missile Site north of Cooperstown.”

Mary Lee Nielson, a committee member, said Thursday “Our management plan is 10-years-old, and we’ve done almost everything on it, and we’ve gotten a grant to update it.”

Nielson said major items she and Chairman Bobby Koepplin want to have discussed at meetings are what new amenities should be added to the byway, what needs to be updated on the byway, and talking about marketing.

Koepplin said Thursday the committee has received a grant to help pay for a new management plan, and is calling for the meetings with “stakeholders and the general public” to gather their ideas.

Thursday Nielson said a meeting was taking place that evening in Cooperstown “to talk about expanding the byway there. It could be a lot of work, but Cooperstown called us – they asked to be connected to the byway.”

Nielson said from her perspective the committee’s work on the byway has been successful so far. “We’ve spent more than $2.7 million to put in all amenities so far,” Nielson said.

Koepplin said the SRVSB is now 63 miles long, and extending it to and around Coopersburg would add another 47 miles north.

Koepplin said KLJ is working with Oregon-based interpretive panel maker Sea Reach on designing and installing the panels along the route. Sea Reach has installed panels at the Rosebud Visitors Center and the Midland Continental Depot Transportation Museum in Wimbledon.

Koepplin said the byway now has 27 interpretive panels, and extending it would require adding more panels at a cost.