LAVALE, Md. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding more than $485,000 to the state of Maryland to preserve 277 rural acres near the western Maryland town of LaVale.


Sen. Ben Cardin announced the grant Thursday to help finance acquisition of a conservation easement on the Scarpelli property.


The land would be permanently protected from development as part of the Historic National Road corridor management plan.


The National Road was America’s first federally funded highway. It ran from Baltimore to Vandalia, Ill. The corridor mainly follows U.S. 40.


The land to be preserved lies about a mile west of the LaVale Toll House. The toll house is the only remaining toll gate along Maryland’s 160-mile section of the National Road.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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