Route 66 National Historic Trail
Route 66 One Step Closer to Becoming A National Historic Trail
On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed HR801, a bill to designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail. The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership suggested the idea for the bill to Congressman Darin LaHood [R-IL] in 2016 and he introduced legislation in February 2017. It was unanimously passed out of the Natural Resources committee in January 2018.
Following the vote, Congressman LaHood noted, “For nearly a century, Route 66 has been a crucial transportation artery for the heartland of America. Towns across the nation and throughout my district have seen the Mother Road bring tourism, employment, a higher quality of life, and civic pride to their communities. We appreciate the support of this legislation, because it will allow visitors from around the world to experience the history of Route 66 while our local businesses and tourism industries receive the economic benefits.”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is another partner that helped in the process of advancing legislation to designate Rt. 66 a National Historic Trail. Pam Bowman, director of public lands policy, National Trust for Historic Preservation, said: “No highway symbolizes Americana, freedom and the open road like Route 66. Congress took an important step toward bringing a vital national designation to the historic buildings, panoramic scenery and urban and rural communities along the ‘Main Street of America.’ We look forward to working with our partners to ensure enactment of the legislation and the designation of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail this year.”
In 2015, the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership met with Rt. 66 stakeholders across the country. One of the ideas that garnered the most support from those meetings was making the Mother Road a National Historic Trail. Bill Thomas, Chairman of the Road Ahead Board of Directors also commented on the bill, “With passage of HR801 in the House, we are one step closer to ensuring our efforts to preserve, promote, and develop Rt. 66. Much remains to be done to ultimately gain National Historic Trail designation for the Mother Road, but we should take a moment now to thank everyone who helped get us to this point and ask for their continued support as the process shifts to the Senate. I’m confident Rt. 66 will become our country’s newest National Historic Trail soon, and look forward to continuing to work to achieve that goal.”