Centennial Commission Bill Signed into Law!
The Road Ahead is pleased to announce that on December 24, 2020, the bill to establish a Route 66 Centennial Commission was signed into law. Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced H.R. 66, a bill to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), a senior member of the Natural Resources Committees, coauthored the legislation.
The Road Ahead is taking the lead in planning the Commission’s work. The goal is to leverage this historic anniversary to help the 5+ million people who live and work along Route 66 by raising funds to carry out projects that preserve, promote, and economically develop the road.
Route 66 was our nation’s first all-paved U.S. Highway System connecting the Midwest to California. In the 1930s, it served as a “road to opportunity” for hundreds of thousands of Americans escaping the devastation of the Dust Bowl, and provided thousands of jobs putting unemployed workers who had lost their jobs during the Great Depression to work on road crews. During the Second World War, Route 66 transported troops, equipment and supplies to military bases across the country, and was used after the War by thousands of troops returning home to their families. By the 1950s, Route 66 had seen the rise of the tourism and became a symbol of American freedom and independence.