June 19, 2019

Duckworth Bill to Commemorate & Preserve Route 66 Passes Senate Committee


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) unanimously today. The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act would 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. Duckworth and Inhofe both serve as members of the EPW Committee.

“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. “This committee took an important step today, and I look forward to working with Senator Inhofe to pass this bill out of the full Senate and protect this landmark highway while supporting local economies by designating it as a national historic trail.”

“I am proud to sponsor legislation to establish a commission that will recognize the importance and historical significance of our beloved highway—Route 66,” said Inhofe. “Route 66 is iconic in Oklahoma. At more than 400 miles of road through Tulsa, Oklahoma City and countless other towns, we have the longest drivable stretch of Will Rogers Highway. I am proud the committee saw the importance of this bipartisan legislation today by passing it and I look forward to its consideration before the full Senate.”

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 bill would also direct the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a plan on the preservation needs of the historic roadway. The Route 66 Ahead Partnership supports the legislation.