A local Congressman testified before a House Committee yesterday about getting Route 66 designated as a National Historic Trail.
18th District Congressman Darin LaHood along with Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Casey Claypool testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on LaHood’s House Resolution 3600 which would designate the highway as a national trail.
The bill would ensure that the National Park Service would have the authority to assist and support states and local communities in preserving, promoting, and capitalizing on economic development from Route 66. Claypool told the committee that it would help spur economic development for the communities that sit along the historic road.
Following the legislative hearing, the next step for the legislation would be a full committee markup, and then a full vote on the House floor. The historic roadway was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System established in 1926. The roadway stretched from Chicago to Santa Monica, California. It was a primary route during the Great Depression for many who migrated to the West in hopes of finding a better life. Remnants of the original highway in Central Illinois can still be seen by traveling along Illinois Route 4 between Springfield and East St. Louis.