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Expiring Law Could Leave Route 66 Towns Without Key Funding

A old motel along Route 66 near Tucumcari, New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Route 66, the historic American roadway that linked Chicago to the West Coast, soon may be dropped from a National Park Service preservation program.  A federal law authorizing the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is set to expire in two years and with it would go millions of dollars in grants for reviving old tourist spots in struggling towns.  Landmarks Illinois director Frank Butterfield says small communities could miss out on much needed economic development funding.  The program has helped finance projects like the El Vado Motel neon sign restoration in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Station restoration in Kansas.  Decommissioned as a U.S. highway in 1985, Route 66 went through eight states, connecting tourists with friendly diners and motor lodges in small towns.  Only about a dozen miles of the so-called "Mother Road" cut through extreme southeast Kansas.
 

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