Many travelers dream all their lives of traveling Route 66, the mythical highway that crosses from west to east (and vice versa) the United States.
Actually, to use a correct terminology it must be spoken in the past tense, since Route 66 as such is no longer part of the official highways: more than 25 years ago it was replaced by highways, much faster and adapted to the intense traffic.
Now, where does Route 66 begin and where does it end? Originally, it ran from Chicago to Santa Monica in The Angels, that is to say a total of 3939 kilometers. In short, it crossed eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The highway is also known as The Main Street of America, The Mother Road, and the Will Rogers Highway1.
Route 66 underwent many improvements and layout changes, many of which greatly affected the length of the highway. One of them was the transfer of the end from Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Contrary to popular belief, Route 66 never reached the ocean; it ended at what was the beginning of US 101, which is now the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard.
In addition to naming a mythical company, the Route 66 it was also immortalized in literature, pop music, and television. Also, several businesses are associated with Route 66 because they are near or on it, the Phillips 66 brand of fuel currently taking part of its name directly from the highway.
Route 66 was the main route for migrants going west, especially during the dust storms of the 1930s, and it sustained the economy of the areas the highway crossed. The people who thrived during the growing popularity of the highway were the same people who years later struggled to keep it alive when the new US Interstate Highway Network began to be built.
As previously stated, the highway was discontinued (that is, officially withdrawn from the United States Highway Network) on June 27, 1985, after it was decided that the highway was no longer relevant and having been replaced by the United States Highway Network. US Interstate Highways.
Parts of the highway that run through Illinois, New Mexico, and Arizona have been marked with “Historic Route 66” signs and have reappeared on highway maps in this way.