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Thu, Oct. 21

Historic Route 66 receives All-American Road designation

For 80-plus years Arizona's Historic Route 66 has been more than a road. The hearts of its people have inspired writers, filmmakers, photographers, and artists. It's a road that represents family road trips, neon, classic cars, cowboys, diners, and ever-changing wonders from towering red cliffs, open spaces with endless blue skies, and distant mesas that look like painted pictures.

On Oct. 16. U. S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recognized this American icon by designating Historic Route 66 in Arizona an "All-American Road" under the Federal Highway's National Scenic Byways Program. The 2009 designations bring the total of this elite group of nationally significant roads to 151 in 46 states. Of the 151 roads in the collection only 37 have the distinction of being an All-American Road, roads that are destinations onto themselves.

"By enriching the National Scenic Byways program with their own unique historical or aesthetic quality, these new additions help our national road system tell our country's story," said LaHood. "These routes continue to offer Americans exciting new opportunities to explore the nation - whether they travel close to home or across the country."

Authorized by Congress in 1991, the National Scenic Byways Program is a collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve, and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. The National Scenic Byways Program assists in the stewardship and preservation of historic, cultural, and scenic resources through a generous grant awards program, and by promoting the collection of Byways nationally and internationally. The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, founded in 1987 to lead the rebirth of Historic Route 66, is responsible for this designation becoming a reality.

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