Davis, LaHood Tour Historic Route 66 in Central Illinois
Highlight Economic Significance & Bills Commemorating 100th Anniversary
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today continued his tour of historic Route 66 through Central Illinois with U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) and State Rep. Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield). The tour is to highlight the economic significance of the most famous road in America and his bill commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Route 66. The lawmakers were joined by local mayors and other community leaders along the way. Yesterday, Davis made stops in Madison, Macoupin, and Montgomery counties.
In February, Davis and LaHood introduced legislation (H.R. 66 and H.R. 801) to establish a commission to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 and establish the route as a National Historic Trail. Butler introduced legislation in the Illinois State House (HB 66) to establishing a state Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission.
"I am proud to have America’s most iconic road run through the middle of my district and it’s important we celebrate its history,” said Davis. “From providing thousands of jobs during the Great Depression to transporting equipment and supplies for World War II to becoming a symbol of freedom and independence in the 1950s, Route 66 has been the ‘road to opportunity’ for millions of Americans throughout history and it continues to be a great economic driver for our state. Historical Route 66 and the businesses located along it are responsible for thousands of jobs and millions in state and local revenue to support our communities. I'm honored to celebrate the opening of this historic trail and look forward to celebrating 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026.”
“For nearly a century, Route 66 has been a crucial transportation artery for the heartland of America. Today’s tour once again highlighted just how important the Route is to our state and for the towns that have helped it gain its notoriety,” stated LaHood. “These towns, like Atlanta in my District, have seen the Mother Road keep employment and revenues up, leading to a higher quality of life and civic pride. Seeing these effects in person today was a reminder of the importance of maintaining and supporting Route 66 for future generations, which is why Congressman Davis and myself have introduced legislation that will ensure that the road continues to serve as a point of pride for not only the states it runs through, but for the entire country.”
"Route 66 is the most famous road in the world and Illinois lays claim to where the Mother Road begins," said Butler. "The centennial of Route 66 will truly be an international celebration of this famous strip of pavement. Illinois is uniquely positioned to welcome and entertain travelers from around the world who want to experience the magic of our scenic byway."
County Board Chairman John McIntyre invited the lawmakers to attend a ribbon cutting in celebration of the completion of the Route 66 trail in Towanda.
"It's an honor to have Congressmen Davis and LaHood here today to help us celebrate the completion of this Historic Route 66 Trail," said McIntyre."Route 66 helps drive economic success in McLean County and I appreciate our representatives for their national leadership to highlight its importance to our local communities. This trail will not only recognize Route 66's history but also encourage more people and businesses to call these communities home."
Route 66 Tour Schedule
Jungle Jim’s Café, Springfield
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood
State Rep. Tim Butler
Bill Thomas, Chairman, Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership
Where: Jungle Jim’s, 1923 N Peoria Rd, Springfield, IL
Why: Jungle Jim's Cafe is a quintessential roadside diner located directly on the 1930-40 alignment of Route. The cafe is famous for their all-day breakfast & other homestyle American diner food. Jim & Mary have been in business for over 20 years, providing for their family while serving others.
Rail-Splitter Covered Wagon, Lincoln
The Palms Grille Café, Atlanta
McLean County’s Historic Rt. 66 Bike Trail, Towanda
Route 66 Facts