Third Quarter Report Available from Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership released its 2021 Third Quarter Report on Thursday, October 7. The report is available on their website ( by clicking on the “News” or “Resources” tabs. The third quarter report includes highlights from summer accomplishments by the Preservation Working Group, Research and Education Working Group, National Historic Trail Designation Task Force, Financial Sustainment Task Force, the Route 66 Vintage Motel Task Force, and more.

Historic Resources Specialist Anne Haaker is involved in Section 106 consultations in Oklahoma and Illinois. Her Oklahoma work included a meeting with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation regarding the Bird Creek Bridge rehabilitation/replacement project. Located along historic Route 66, the bridge has National significance as one of the few remaining multiple K-through truss bridges in the United States.

In Illinois, Haaker is engaged with the state’s High Speed Rail project in Will County, where a second line of track is being proposed between Route 66 and the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

The Preservation Working Group reported on progress made by the consultant hired to prepare an Historic Preservation Toolkit. The Toolkit will show case studies at the start, middle and end-of-project phases. The Road Ahead hopes to make the Toolkit available by the end of this year.

The Research and Education Working Group is ready to share a Route 66 history research article for teachers and students at all levels. Additionally, the group would like to add two more secondary level teachers to the team and is working on grant applications to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The bill to designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail remains in the House of Representatives while it waits for a
committee hearing.

The Financial Sustainment Task Force continues to make good progress in securing sponsorships for the Centennial celebration in 2026. Confirmed sponsorships currently total more than $600,000, with more sponsorship opportunities on the horizon.

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership continues to focus on national, whole road issues as it leads the Route 66 100th Anniversary Commission toward 2026.

Established in 2016, 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

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Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway