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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Route 66

U.S. Route 66, (also known as Route 66, The Main Street of America, The Mother Road and the Will Rogers Highway) was a highway in the U.S. Highway system. One of the original federal routes, US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, though signs did not go up until the following year. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles for a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).
Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime that changed its overall length. One of these realignments moved the western endpoint from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Contrary to common belief, Route 66 never ran to the ocean; it terminated onto what was at the time US-101 ALT, at what is today the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard (a segment of California State Route 1). It never went to the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, even though there is a plaque dedicating Route 66 as the Will Rogers Highway there.
Route 66 was a major path of the migrants who went west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive even with the growing threat of the new Interstate Highway System.
US 66 was officially decommissioned (that is, officially removed from the United States Highway System) on June 27, 1985 after it was decided the route was no longer relevant and had been replaced by the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66". It has begun to return to maps in this form.... (more on www.wikipedia.org)

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