Route 66 Centennial Legislation Clears the U.S. Congress

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway

Washington, DC – In a suspension of its regular rules, the US House of Representatives approved the Senate version of the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act (S1014) on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. The legislation is now headed to the White House for the President’s signature.

The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act began its journey in 2017, when Congressman Rodney Davis (D-IL) introduced HR66 at the urging of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership. That bill passed unanimously under suspension rules on July 16, 2018.

In April 2019, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced the bill in the US Senate (S1014) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of historic Route 66. The Act passed out of the Senate on August 10, 2020 and returned to the House to reconcile any language differences between the two bodies.

Once signed into law, 15 Commissioners will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Secretary of Transportation, Senate and House majority leaders, and governors of the eight Route 66 states. Appointees will have demonstrated both a dedication to educating others about the importance of historical figures and events, and a substantial knowledge and appreciation of Route 66.

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership is taking a leadership role in the celebration of Route 66’s 100th birthday. A five-year series of birthday celebration initiatives begins in 2021, culminating in 2026, the road’s centennial year. A major part of the initiatives involves developing a Visionary Fund to support Route 66 through preservation, economic development, promotion, and research and/or education projects. The goal is to position the historic highway, the communities along the road, and the people who live there for success during the next 100 years.

Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 and decommissioned in 1985. Though no longer part of the US highway system, Route 66 continues to be a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international travelers.

Established in 2015, with the support of the National Park Service and the World Monuments’ Fund, The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national and international icon through partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research and education, and economic development.

Contact: Bill Thomas,
Chairman Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership

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Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway

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