The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership Board met via teleconference on March 27 to discuss progress made in the first quarter of 2021. Determined to keep moving forward, despite slowdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Road Ahead will continue to focus on “whole road” initiatives. These include gaining National Historic Trail status, planning for the 100th Anniversary Commission, and moving forward several other long-term goals.
National Historic Trail Designation for Route 66 failed to pass the last Congress, however the Road Ahead plans to take all possible steps to ensure the bill will pass the House and Senate during 2021, with the help of Congressman Darren LaHood’s office (R-IL).
Centennial Commission legislation has already passed in Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico. Missouri. Arizona, Texas, California and Kansas have not yet made progress, so the Road Ahead will focus efforts on helping establish Route 66 Centennial Commissions in those states.
The purposeful preservation of resources, traditions, and experiences that give Route 66 its idiosyncratic character is a basic goal of the Road Ahead Partnership. A request for letters of interest was distributed in late March, seeking consultant services for the instructional design of an online Preservation toolkit. The Road Ahead’s Preservation Working Group is now in the process of evaluating those letters in order to select a consultant to work on the project. In other preservation efforts, the Road Ahead’s Historic Resources Specialist continues to participate in Section 106 consultations for State Department of Transportation projects in Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
The Road Ahead Board also agreed to extend its arrangement with the Sweeney Group, a professional fundraising organization. They will work with the Road Ahead’s Financial Sustainment Task Force over the next 10 months to implement the strategic fundraising campaign they prepared last year.
Before the end of the second quarter, the Route 66 Motel Taskforce plans to complete and launch the Motel Collection website.
The Road Ahead Board of Directors will meet again in June to access the progress made on these goals and outcomes. The full First Quarter Road Ahead Update Report can be viewed on the Road Ahead website at http://route66roadahead.com/news/.
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.
Bill Thomas, Chairman
Rt. 66 Road Ahead Partnership