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Senate Advances Route 66 Centennial Legislation

Published on Fri, Aug 28, 2020

By: Collin Morgan

The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate to honor the Mother Road’s upcoming 100th birthday in 2026.

Yes, Route 66 is really getting old. The Mother Road was commissioned in 1926 as the first all-paved US highway. Since then, it has become a cultural phenomenon, spurring countless road trips and legendary songs. However, the communities and businesses along Route 66 have declined with the use of faster alternate routes.

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership looks to lead the celebration of Route 66 and bring the passage through time back to life. The U.S. Senate has just passed a bill that could bring that to fruition.

The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act (S1014) was passed unanimously by the United States Senate earlier this month. It must then undergo reconciliation with the House of Representatives before landing on President Trump’s desk for his signature.

The legislation was first introduced in April 2019 by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). The bill proposed a celebration of the upcoming 100th anniversary of historic Route 66.

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is taking the helm in orchestrating the Mother Road’s centennial celebration. The partnership is planning a five-year series of initiatives beginning in 2021. These initiatives are referred to as “birthday presents” for Route 66 over the next five years to support preservation, economic development, promotion, research, and education projects.

The goal is to preserve and revitalize the historic highway, along with the communities and businesses that rely on the road’s traffic to thrive during the next 100 years.

Happy early birthday, Route 66!

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