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Historic Highways Project

The goal of the Historic Highways Project is to remediate and reuse abandoned or underutilized former gas stations along the former Route 66 (Missouri and Kansas) and the former Lincoln Highway (Iowa and Nebraska). For three weeks in summer 2007, 217 former gas stations were documented by driving the length of these highways.


Project Update - April 2010

EPA Region 7 is reaching out to local communities in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska to address the former gas stations identified during a driving tour. In February 2009, EPA sent letters to 191 officials in 83 communities in Region 7 that have abandoned or underutilized gas stations in EPA's Historic Highways inventory. The letters went out to mayors, city clerks, city administrators and economic development officials. Information in the letter (PDF) (2pp, 102K About PDF) introduced the project and solicited involvement by local officials. EPA received responses from 17 communities expressing an interest in participating in the project. Those communities were asked to submit detailed information on the sites in their communities that are listed in the inventory. After reviewing this information, EPA and its partners will prioritize the sites and initially select one or two in each state to identify and eliminate barriers leading towards redevelopment.

The project partners set the standards for prioritizing the former gas stations identified during the driving tour, and began examining those properties in their states that are most likely to be reused. The partners want to work with communities to revitalize those properties.

These actions by our state partners followed the review of information gathered on the tour:


This project began under the leadership of the EPA Region 7 Land Revitalization Team. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality are partnering on this project with the National Park Service offices in Omaha, Neb., and Santa Fe, N.M., EPA Region 7's Brownfields and Underground Tanks Programs, and EPA Headquarters' Office of Underground Storage Tanks.

Please return to this page for progress updates.

For more information, please contact David Doyle, EPA Region 7, at (913) 551-7667 or doyle.david@epa.gov


Abandoned or underutilized former gas stations along Route 66

Locations of stations pictured below (left to right):
Top row: Between Pacific & St. Clair, Mo., in St. James, Mo., and in Springfield, Mo.
Second row: In Heatonville, Mo., near Galena, Kan., and in Baxter Springs, Kan.

Historic Highways gas station photo in Baxter Springs, Missouri Historic Highways gas station photo near Galena, Kansas Historic Highways gas station photo in Heatonville, Missouri

Historic Highways gas station photo in Heatonvill, Missouri Historic Highways gas station photo near Galena, Kansas Historic Highways gas station photo in Baxter Springs, Missouri


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