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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

History & Timeline

History and Timeline

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Established in 1926, Route 66 operated as the country's main east-west artery connecting Chicago and Los Angeles and everything in between with over 2,000 miles of continuously paved roadway. The cities and towns located along Route 66 reaped the benefits of the highway. Motels and diners sprang up to cater to travelers. Gas stations became the new icon for America's increasingly mobile society.

With the development of the nationwide interstate system, divided highways bypassed nearly all segments of Route 66 and in 1986, it was officially decommissioned. Though parts of the Route are no longer drivable, 85 percent of the highway is still in use by local and tourist traffic. As traffic moved to neighboring interstates, communities along Route 66 experienced economic and environmental hardships. With fewer travelers, many businesses closed, leaving behind neglected, abandoned properties.

Key Dates along the Route

2004: ADEQ holds public meetings in Holbrook and Winslow and meets individually with property owners
January 2006 : Route 66 Partnership Kickoff meeting in Winslow and Holbrook, Arizona
December 2006: ADEQ presents Route 66 project at Seligman Town Hall meeting
March 2007: ADEQ meets with representatives in Kingman to discuss Route 66 project.
Fall 2007: ADEQ determines locations of possible orphan tank sites along Route 66
April 2008: Route 66 Westward Expansion Meeting in Kingman addresses the western portion of the corridor in Arizona
July 2008: First “All Communities” Meeting hosted by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona in Flagstaff
July 2009: Second “All Communities” Meeting
October 2009: Route 66 designated a National Scenic Byways Program “All- American Road”
July 2011: Annual "All Communities Meeting" held in Flagstaff by the Historic Rt66 Association of Arizona

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