Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

US Highway 66 History and Significance
Historic US Highway 66 spans the heart of America, symbolizing mobility, freedom, and pursuit of the American Dream. Highly celebrated through literature, film, and song, Route 66 is of national significance as a symbol of America's transportation history and the impact of the automobile. Perhaps more than any other highway, Route 66 has come to symbolize hope, progress, and the spirit of adventure. In 1985, US Highway 66 was decommissioned as a federal highway, but continues to live on in the American consciousness as “Route 66.”

The National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program
In recognition of the significance of Route 66 to America’s heritage, Congress passed an Act (109 KB pdf) in 1999 to create the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. Administered by the National Park Service, National Trails Intermountain Region, the program preserves the special places and stories of this historic highway. The program collaborates with private, nonprofit, and government partners to identify and prioritize Route 66 preservation needs. The program provides cost-share grants to help preserve the most significant and representative historic sites related to the route’s period of significance (1926-1985). It also assists preservation planning, research, and educational initiatives, and serves as a clearinghouse for preservation information and technical assistance. Since 2001, over 100 projects have received cost-share grant assistance across the route.

Set to legislatively terminate at the end of 2009, the program was reauthorized (11 KB pdf) on March 30, 2009 for an additional 10 years. Under the new authorization, the program will continue to offer grants, technical assistance, clearinghouse functions, and pursue long-term priorities to sustain preservation efforts along Route 66.

Program Services

  • Guidance and technical assistance for the preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation of historic Route 66 properties

  • Cost-share grants for the preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of significant and representative Route 66 buildings, structures, signs, and road segments; building and roadbed inventory surveys; historic structures reports; historical research; and educational initiatives

  • Guidance in the development of corridor management plans and other planning and management initiatives

  • Guidance in the development of interpretation and heritage tourism on Route 66

  • Information on research and oral histories related to historic Route 66

  • Information on preservation training and other educational opportunities

  • Information on funding sources

  • A forum for public interests related to the preservation and commemoration of Route 66

Last updated: January 23, 2023