Napolitano, Davis, LaHood Introduce Legislation to Commemorate Route 66

Feb 8, 2017 Issues: Transportation

(Washington, DC)  Today, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), and Darin LaHood (R-IL-18) announced the introduction of two bipartisan bills to commemorate the historical significance of Route 66: H.R. 66, which creates a Commission to recommend improvements and activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026, and H.R. 801, which establishes Route 66 as a National Historic Trail.

“Route 66 runs east to west through my entire district and is an integral part of the San Gabriel Valley’s culture and economy,” Napolitano said. “Our local restaurants, shops, and other businesses, like so many others dotting the interstate from the heartland to the west coast, provide rest breaks for travelers, allowing them to sample the local flavors of our communities that are proud to be connected by the iconic road. As we begin looking to the centennial, I am proud to partner with my Illinois colleagues, Congressmen Davis and LaHood, to revitalize and preserve Route 66 for future generations.”

“I am proud to have America’s most iconic road run through the middle of my district and it’s important we celebrate its history,” said Davis. “We represent different parts of the country and we’re from different political parties but we can all relate to the significance of Route 66. From providing thousands of jobs to unemployed workers during the Great Depression to transporting equipment and supplies for World War II to becoming a symbol of freedom and independence in the 1950s, Route 66 has been the ‘road to opportunity’ for millions of Americans throughout our history. I look forward to celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2026.”

“Spanning nearly a century, Route 66 has been a crucial transportation artery traveling through the heartland of America. The Mother Road has provided jobs and opportunities and been a powerful economic development tool for communities throughout Illinois and every state it runs through, as well as providing timeless memories for those traveling cross country. It is time it receives the national recognition it deserves,” stated LaHood. “Designating Route 66 as a National Historic Trail would provide this highway with a permanent program to preserve, promote, and economically develop it. I am excited to partner with Rep. Davis and Rep. Napolitano to designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail and commence its centennial celebration.”

Route 66 runs through the cities of La Verne, San Dimas, Glendora, Azusa, Duarte, and Monrovia, known in most of Napolitano’s district as Foothill Boulevard and Huntington Drive. The City of Monrovia has plans to improve Route 66’s infrastructure in the near future.

“National Historic Trail designation for Route 66 would bring annual federal dollars for rehabilitation and improvement,” Napolitano added. “We would gladly welcome this new funding to improve our portion of Route 66, but in the meantime, we look forward to working with our cities and local stakeholders on the preservation of artifacts, memorabilia, and other historical items to highlight as we prepare to celebrate 100 years.”

Napolitano coauthored both pieces of legislation with Davis, a fellow House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee member, and LaHood, a colleague of hers on the House Natural Resources Committee. Napolitano is the highest-ranking California member of both committees.

Details of H.R. 66: 

·      Creates a 19-member Commission to recommend activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026.

·      Directs the Commission to host a conference on the U.S. Numbered Highway System, marking its 100-year anniversary.

·      Directs the Department of Transportation, in consultation with governors of the eight states through which 66 passes, to develop a plan on the preservation needs of Route 66.

 

Details of H.R. 801:

·      Establishing a federal designation of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail.

 

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