New signs guide travelers on Oklahoma’s Route 66 |
(The Center Square) – Frequent travelers on Route 66 in Oklahoma will notice new signs.
Updated historical markers have been placed along Route 66 in 2021 in preparation for the upcoming centennial celebration.
Ken Busby, Executive Director and CEO of the Route 66 Alliance, said The central square directional signage is designed to help motorists navigate America’s Main Street.
“One of the biggest complaints we get from travelers is that it’s hard to stay on Route 66 because there are various alignments in some cities and maps are sometimes hard to follow,” Busby said. “Route 66 enthusiasts really want to make sure they’re riding the authentic route.”
Rhys Martin, president of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, agreed.
“Most Route 66 travelers want to stay on as much of the original historic highway as possible. These signs will let motorists know they are on Historic Route 66 as they travel the corridor” , said Martin. The central square. “There is also the added benefit of helping Oklahomans know they are also on the old road – which increases pride.”
A resurgence of interest in Route 66, led in the 1990s by Michael Wallis’ book, “Route 66: The Mother Road”, and the 2006 Disney/Pixar film, “Cars”, helped make the Route 66 is a new travel destination, but it has played an important role in the state’s history since the very beginning.
“Route 66 is extremely important to the identity of Oklahoma, where Tulsa serves as the capital of Route 66,” Busby said. “If it hadn’t been for Cyrus Avery, the father of Route 66, the road would probably never have passed through Tulsa or Oklahoma.”
When Route 66 was first opened in 1926, Avery convinced the Federal Highway Department that the old 11th Street Bridge in Tulsa was the “safe” way for motorists to travel from Chicago to Santa Monica, in California, the endpoints of Route 66. This bridge, now named the Cyrus Avery Memorial Bridge, was built in 1917 and was the first concrete and steel bridge to cross the Arkansas River anywhere in the United States
“When the Dust Bowl hit in the 1930s, Route 66 provided the safest route west for migrant farmers,” Martin said. “After World War II, the highway was the conduit for Oklahomans to see some of our greatest natural landmarks like the Grand Canyon. But the highway’s greatest impact on Oklahoma was specifically the ease of travel. commercial traffic. Route 66 was usually the main street of every town it passed through, and with it goods and services. This is still a role the highway plays today.
Route 66 is also an important part of Oklahoma’s tourist tapestry.
“Tourism is already starting to make a comeback, and we’re really working to promote tourism throughout Oklahoma by marketing the Route 66 Passport, the Oklahoma Fishing Trail, and more,” Busby said.