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Ride Route 66? Share your memories for the 100th birthday

Image source - Pexels.com

ST. LOUIS – Route 66, officially known as U.S. Highway 66, stands as one of America’s most iconic highways. Spanning from the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago to the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles, the route is approaching its centennial in two years.

A popular vacation destination involves traveling the highway from start to finish. However, the entire route hasn’t been preserved. On June 27, 1985, Route 66 was officially decertified and no longer exists as a U.S. highway.

That hasn’t deterred some vacationers from seeking their ‘kicks’ on preserved sections of the highway. In Missouri, there are attractions that once lined Route 66. For those interested, theroute66.com provides an interactive map detailing all the spots alongside Route 66. The route goes through Missouri, heading towards Oklahoma City, starting from Illinois.

Among the landmarks in the St. Louis area were the Coral Court Motel (no longer standing), the national landmark the Gateway Arch, and the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, which is now only walkable.

We asked our Facebook audience if they had any Route 66 stories to share:  

Old Chain of Rocks bridge on the Mississippi river, Granite City Illinois.

Cathy J. said, “I am one of eight volunteers who get to drive across the old bridge daily. We unlock the gate on the Missouri side, drive across and unlock the Illinois gate, turn around and come back. I have been doing it for 17 years for walkers, cyclists and tour groups on motorcycles or in classic cars.  


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She also said “a new park is being built on the Missouri side to open in April. Sports Illustrated had a swimsuit issue on Route 66. They took pictures on the bridge on the way from Illinois to California.” 

Lawrence R. said, “I drove part of the way from Grand Canyon to Roswell. I went to some car shows on the Chain of Rocks bridge. I remember watching them build the wall for Escape from New York. I just recently saw the scenic Byway 66 in Springfield, Il. I lived in Mitchell, on old Rt. 66, by the Chain of Rocks Motel.” 

Other notable locations alongside Route 66 in St. Louis include the Route 66 State Park, Six Flags St. Louis, Meramec Caverns, Lone Elk Park, the National Museum of Transportation, and Ted Drewes.

If you would like to share your Route 66 stories to a larger audience The National Trust for Historic Preservation has launched a campaign to collect 2,026 stories, for the birthday in 2026 and your contribution can become a part of this historical milestone.

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