Route 66 was a US highway that was also called the “Mother Road” and the “Main Street of America”. It was established in the year 1926, and it soon became the country’s most important east-west arterial roads. Over the years, the condition of the road deteriorated, as it was not properly maintained. As a result, it was closed down in October, 1984 after decades of service.
Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles, and it covered a total of almost 2,500 miles. The highway ran through Kansas, Illinois, Arizona, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, and it was one of the most popular roads in the US. In time, Highway 66 started to gain recognition in American pop culture: it was featured in music, television shows, and even movies.
It was the efforts of an entrepreneur called Cyrus Avery that led to the construction of Highway 66. The plan of developing the highway was made in 1921, but it was only in 1925 that the Congress executed the plan. It was a Chicago-Los Angeles route, and it was given the official number “66”. Route 66 was modified several times during its lifetime. It was detoured, its length was often changed, and it was also extended, so that it could facilitate faster and safer travel. The highway was extremely useful for migrants who traveled west during the 1930s. Several families and businessmen became wealthy just because their shops or offices were located on the highway. Later in the 1980s, these people were the ones who tried to prevent the highway from closing down.
Route 66 earned a number of nicknames, which included “Will Rogers Highway”. This name was unofficially given in 1952 by the U.S. Highway 66 Association. Plaques containing the name “Will Rogers Highway” can still be found in certain places along the highway.
The condition of Route 66 was getting poorer each year, and the US Government finally decided to remove the road from the United States Highway System and replace it with the more modern and functional road called Interstate Highway System. The segments of Route 66 that crossed Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri, and Illinois have been renamed the Historic Route 66, whereas the segments in southern California are now called State Route 66.
Besides serving as one of the arterial highways in the United States, Route 66 was also an inspiration to the future road engineers of America. A few years ago, the 75th birthday of Route 66 was celebrated, and the nation paid tribute to a road that contributed a lot to the development and economic growth of the western part of the United States.
Traveling by road is enjoyable, but it is not always safe. Those who are planning to travel to Route 66 during their vacations should get a travel insurance policy, so that they can claim compensation for medical expenses and other losses in the event of accidents. Getting travel insurance is definitely a good idea for those who are traveling on the road.