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CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — Lawmakers are pushing Congress to give historic trail status to Route 66 to help preserve the iconic roadway, which passes through Missouri and seven other states.

The U.S. House Natural Resources subcommittee considered legislation on Nov. 15. The bill designates the 2,400-mile (3,862-kilometer) roadway from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, as the Route 66 Historic Trail, the Joplin Globe reported .

“The federal government already recognizes the importance of Route 66,” said Republican Congressman Darin LaHood of Illinois, who introduced the bill. “If signed into law, it (the bill) will designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail ensuring that the National Park Service will have the authority to assist and support states and local communities in preserving, promoting and economically developing Route 66 for generations to come.”

Deborah Harvey, a Missouri woman who owns a motel along Route 66 in Carthage, supports the legislation. But she said certain aspects of the bill regarding land acquisitions need to be considered.

“Anyone along Route 66 who owns their own building, the federal government would not have jurisdiction over their properties,” she said. “It doesn’t really protect the properties along Route 66. People actually have to do that, and cities have to designate historic districts in order to protect those properties.”

Nicknamed the “Mother Road,” Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 as part of the first federal highway system.


Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe,