Reps. Davis, LaHood, Napolitano Introduce Legislation to Commemorate Historical Route 66
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), and Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.) today announced the introduction of two bipartisan bills to commemorate the historical significance of Route 66. H.R. 66, establishes a commission to recommend activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026 and H.R. 801, establishes Route 66 as a National Historic Trail.
“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. “We represent different parts of the country and we’re from different political parties but we can all relate to the significance of Route 66. 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 our history. I look forward to celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2026.”
“Spanning nearly a century, Route 66 has been a crucial transportation artery traveling through the heartland of America. The Mother Road has provided jobs and opportunities and been a powerful economic development tool for communities throughout Illinois and every state it runs through, as well as providing timeless memories for those traveling cross country. It is time it receives the national recognition it deserves,” stated LaHood. “Designating Route 66 as a National Historic Trail would provide this highway with a permanent program to preserve, promote, and economically develop it. I am excited to partner with Rep. Davis and Rep. Napolitano to designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail and commence its centennial celebration.”
“Route 66 runs east to west through my entire district and is an integral part of California’s San Gabriel Valley’s culture and economy,” said Napolitano. Our local restaurants, shops, and other businesses, like so many others dotting the interstate from the heartland to the west coast, provide rest breaks for travelers, allowing them to sample the local flavors of our communities that are proud to be connected by the iconic road. As we begin looking toward the centennial, I am proud to partner with my Illinois colleagues, Congressmen Davis and LaHood, to revitalize and preserve Route 66 for future generations.”
In April, Davis and LaHood plan to travel Illinois Route 66, which runs through both of their districts, making stops in several communities to recognize its historical significance. Davis and LaHood have been working with the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership to introduce these important bills.
Additionally, State Rep. Tim Butler who has introduced HB 66, the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission, which establishes an Illinois commission to commemorate the 2026 centennial, will join the event. His bill is before the Illinois House Committee on Tourism, Hospitality and Craft Industry today.
Details of H.R. 66 include:
• Creates a 19-member Commission to recommend activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026.
• Directs the Commission to host a conference on the U.S. Numbered Highway System, marking it’s 100 year anniversary.
• Directs the Department of Transportation, in consultation with governors of the eight states through which 66 passes, to develop a plan on the preservation needs of Route 66.
Details H.R. 801 include:
Establishes a federal designation of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail