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Napolitano, LaHood Introduce Legislation to Designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail

September 16, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) This week, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Darin LaHood (R-IL-18) introduced H.R. 8240, legislation to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. The lawmakers previously introduced similar legislation in the 115th Congress.

“Route 66 runs east to west through my entire district and continues to be an integral part of our San Gabriel Valley’s culture and economy,” Napolitano said. “Historic Trail designation would deliver much needed federal dollars for the rehabilitation and improvement of Route 66, benefiting millions of residents and countless economies in the eight states which proudly claim a portion of the Mother Road. These funds would be used in coordination with cities and stakeholders for the safeguarding of property, artifacts, memorabilia, and other historical items. I am proud to again join Congressman La Hood in introducing this bipartisan legislation to preserve the legacy of Route 66 for future generations of Americans.”

“Route 66 is a crucial transportation artery that connects America’s heartland to the west,” said Rep. LaHood. “The Mother Road provides powerful economic development tools for communities throughout Illinois, creating jobs and opportunity for 18th District residents. 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 proud to once again partner with Rep. Napolitano to designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail and give it the appropriate designation it deserves.”

"Next year, Route 66 will celebrate its 95th anniversary. As we draw closer to that milestone, the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership can think of no better birthday present for the road than to make it a National Historic Trail. The Road Ahead commends the efforts of Congressman LaHood and Congresswoman Napolitano to introduce legislation to accomplish this designation," said Bill Thomas, Chairman of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership.

“Historic Route 66 is internationally recognized as an iconic symbol representing America’s love of the open road. Its rich history as a Dustbowl migration route, World War II strategic military route, and a vacation travel route has been celebrated in music, literature, television, movies, and popular lore,” said Pam Bowman, Director of Public Lands Policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We enthusiastically endorse the bipartisan approach of H.R. 8240 that would designate Route 66 as a national historic trail and appreciate Representatives Darin LaHood and Grace Napolitano for their years of leadership supporting preservation of this nationally significant route.”

You can read text of the legislation here.

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