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Sens. Cruz, Others Introduce Legislation to Designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) introduced a bill to amend the National Trails System Act and designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. Importantly, this legislation would make the designation without harming Texas and American energy development projects in the areas around Route 66.

Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, is more than 2,400 miles long, stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, and crossing through eight states, including Texas. This legislation was previously introduced in 2022 by now-retired Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)

About the legislation, Sen. Cruz said, The great state of Texas is proud to be home to part of the iconic Route 66 and it’s an honor to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to designate this highway as a historic trail. Our bill providing the designation will ensure this historic route is protected for years to come while doing so in a responsible way, and I’m proud to champion this effort for Texas.”

“Our bipartisan legislation designates the historic Route 66 highway - the Mother Road to Arizonans - as a historic trail, honoring our state's history and strengthening our economy,” said Sen. Sinema.

“Generations of Americans have driven the 2,400 mile road from Illinois to California along Route 66, weaving through the Mojave Desert on their way to the iconic End of the Trail sign at the Santa Monica Pier,” said Sen. Padilla. “I am proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in an effort to solidify Route 66’s place as a National Historic Trail, preserving the integrity of the trail and honoring its legacy as the Mother Road for American automobiles.”

“Route 66 has a long and proud history in the state of Missouri and serves as a physical embodiment of America’s desire for westward expansion,” said Sen. Schmitt. “Route 66 has not only connected big cities to small towns, but has connected communities and people for generations. I’m proud to join this important piece of legislation which rightfully underscores the importance Route 66 represents not just to Missouri, but to America as a whole.”

“Route 66 played an important role in Arizona’s history and its legacy remains central to the character of towns like Winslow, Flagstaff, and Kingman. Designating the Route 66 Historic Trail will support small businesses and spur economic development in rural communities along more than 350 miles of Arizona’s Route 66,” said Sen. Kelly.

Read the bill here.