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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

LaHood, Davis Tour Route 66

April 18, 2017
Press Release
Tour kicks-off legislative effort to preserve and support Route 66

Peoria, IL— Today, U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Rodney Davis (IL-13) issued the following statements after the completion of a four-stop tour along Route 66 to recognize and highlight its historical and economic significance.  This tour follows the introduction of bipartisan legislation by Reps. LaHood and Davis to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail and to establish a commission to recommend activities celebrating the 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 Rep. 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.”

"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.”

"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."

Tour Itinerary:

Stop 1: Springfield, IL
Reps. LaHood and Davis stopped at Jungle Jim’s for breakfast and met with Mayor Jim Langfelder, State Legislators, and members of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Stop 2: Lincoln, IL
Reps. LaHood and Davis visited the Rail-Splitter Covered Wagon, which is the largest covered wagon in the world, and met with Mayor Martha Neitzel, State Legislators, and members of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Stop 3: Atlanta, IL
Reps. LaHood and Davis toured the Route 66 Memories Museum and met with Mayor Finchum, State Legislators, and members of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Stop 4: Normal, IL
Reps. LaHood and Davis Sprague’s Super Service Center along with Mayor Chris Koos.  They then held a press conference and ribbon cutting ceremony for the McLean County’s Hirstoric Rt. 66 Bike Trail - New Trailhead (Shelbourne and Towanda) along with the Mayor, members of the local Chamber of Commerce, State Legislators, County Board, and the Council of Convention and Visitor Bureaus.

Route 66 Legislation Background

Earlier this year, Reps. LaHood and Davis partnered with Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32) to introduce two bills commemorating the historical significance of Route 66.  As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Davis introduced H.R. 66, a bill to establish a commission to recommend activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026.  As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, LaHood introduced H.R. 801, a bill to amend the National Trails System Act to designate the Route 66 National Historic Trail.  Napolitano, a senior member of both the Transportation and Natural Resources Committees, proudly coauthored both pieces of legislation.

Details of LaHood’s bill (H.R. 801) include:

Establishing a federal designation of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail

Details of Davis’ bill (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 its 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