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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Route 66 known as the Mother Road?

Route 66 U.S. Highway 66 -- popularly known as Route 66 or the Mother Road -- holds a special place in American consciousness and evokes images of simpler times, mom and pop businesses, and the icons of a mobile nation on the road.

What was the original length of Route 66?

Background and construction. Laid in part over preexisting auto trails, Route 66 was thus built in segments, often discontinuous ones, and was not entirely paved until 1938. The original route was officially commissioned to stretch a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km), but, once built, it fell short of that figure.

When was Route 66 officially decommissioned in Illinois?

Route 66 was formally decommissioned on June 27, 1985. Sign marking a portion of former Route 66 in Illinois. Many private individuals, organizations, and towns have preserved portions of the roadway, businesses that throve on it, or collections of memorabilia.

Who are the early promoters of Route 66?

Early promoters, notably John Woodruff of Springfield, Missouri, and Cyrus Avery of Tulsa, had envisioned a great road linking towns across the continent, and the organizations they founded to advance the idea were in effect multistate chambers of commerce.


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