State historic preservation group lists Route 66 as ‘endangered’

The former Sprague Super Service station in Normal is one of many landmarks along Route 66. (Photo courtesy Terri Ryburn)

By Greg Halbleib

A nonprofit group dedicated to preserving history has selected Route 66 as one of this year’s most endangered historic places in the state.

Landmarks Illinois is supporting legislation to permanently designate the famous highway as a National Historic Trail. The group says the National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is set to expire in three years, and the designation would provide federal help to preserve the road’s historic landmarks.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) has introduced a bill to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail, and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) has introduced a bill to establish a commission to recommend activities for the road’s centennial in nine years.

The group says designation of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail will support tourism increases that the road has generated.

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