Route 66 Could Be Designated Historic Trail, Gain Federal Support

Monday, July 2nd 2018, 6:22 pm
By: News On 6

Route 66 fans have won a major victory to help preserve and develop the iconic highway.
The U.S. House voted 'yes' to officially establish the mother road as a historic trail.
If the bill becomes law, it means millions in federal dollars will be seen in cities like Tulsa to help lead to a possible route 66 economic revival.
More than 400 miles of the Mother Road wind through Oklahoma.
The U.S. House just passed a bill to re-designate the National Trail System Act and include Route 66.
“How great would it be to really put some money into it for things, for signage, fixing up tourist attractions that are dilapidated … and that will all become eligible through this designation,” said Executive Director & CEO of the Route 66 Alliance Ken Busby.
If passed by the Senate, the legislation would provide federal oversight and management of Route 66 through the National Park Service.
Federal money would also help with preservation, development, and promotion.
After all, Route 66 is experiencing a rejuvenation across the country, especially in Tulsa.
“The chamber is supportive and the Mayor is supportive so it is all coming together and we all seem to be at the right nexus at the right time,” Busby said.  

“But you also have areas that need help like the Brookshire behind us. There are varying towns all up and down Route 66 that are seeing varying levels of success,” said Rhys Martin. 
Martin has caught many of those sights through the lens of his camera.
He has photographed Route 66 towns that have dried up but other towns that are still just waiting for the right people to come along with the right vision
“And with having Federal money and recognition, when the right person comes along they will be able to step in and add their story to the overall Route 66 narrative,” Martin said. 

The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this summer.

Also, regarding the Route 66 experience set to be built along the river, Ken Busby said that is coming along well and they've got some strong tribal support regarding sponsorship.