August 11, 2020
Bipartisan legislation to commemorate Route 66 introduced by U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) passed the Senate. The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act (S. 1014) will establish a centennial commission in preparation for the 100th anniversary of Route 66, which begins in Chicago and continues through six other states, including Oklahoma, before ending on the Pacific Coast of California. The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval.
“Route 66 is iconic in Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. “Reaching more than 400 miles through Tulsa, Oklahoma City and countless other towns in between, our state is home to the longest drivable stretch of Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway. I am proud to see our bipartisan legislation pass the Senate and I look forward to its passage in the House soon. Together, we can continue efforts to establish a commission that will help us best celebrate 2026 as the centennial anniversary of America’s first all-weather highway.”
“Route 66 has played a tremendous role in Illinois’s history, helping to promote travel and commerce from Chicago to East St. Louis and so many communities in between,” Duckworth said. “The Senate took an important step today, and I look forward to this bill coming one step closer to becoming law and protecting this landmark highway while supporting local economies by designating it as a national historic trail.” “Route 66 has been keeping this country – from Illinois to California – connected for nearly 100 years,” said Durbin. “In celebration of the countless family road trips, the interstate commerce, and transportation feats that Route 66 has made possible, we must preserve the highway for the centuries still to come. I’m proud to join my Senate colleagues to pass the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act today to take the first step in designating the highway as a national historic trail.”
The commission created by the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act would be made up of representatives from each of the eight Route 66 states and would recommend activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2026. The Route 66 Ahead Partnership supports the legislation.