National Historic Trail

A nine-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 80 along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail is being set aside to keep the route looking much as it did in 1965 when voting rights marchers made it a route to the ballot box for blacks in the South.

Tourists will be able to view the old sections of the freedom march route once a new road is built alongside the original lane.

State officials also plan to hire a landscape architect to restore sections of the trail to their appearance from four decades ago.

A study two years ago by the state Department of Tourism found that Alabama could attract as many as 700,000 visitors a year just to tour the trail.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held later this spring at the First Interpretive Center in White Hall, Alabama.