Illinois Route 66 Association seeks National Historic Trail designation

The latest plan to highlight Route 66 is getting a thumbs up in Illinois.

The latest plan to highlight Route 66 is getting a thumbs up in Illinois. 

There are places along Route 66 from Chicago to California that are on the National Register of Historic Places, but now there is a plan in Washington D.C. to make the entire road a National Historic Trail. 

Two U.S. Senators – Tom Udall from New Mexico and Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma – are pushing the plan.  

Debbie Bates with the Route 66 Association is all in favor of the idea. 

“It’s one way to keep the route alive,” Bates said. “Many communities relied on Route 66 for their tourism. And when it closed, a lot of places closed.”

Bates said Route 66 tourism is making a comeback. She said you can see the evidence in little towns all along the route. 

“In Pontiac, Illinois people come from all over the world to look at that museum,” Bates said. “We’ve had people from Germany, England, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, all of the 50 states.”

A similar plan to declare Route 66 a historic trail passed the U.S. House earlier this year. 

Bates said the Route 66 Association supports anything that will help remember and recognize Route 66.

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