Blue Whale Photo Panel Preservation

Preservation takes many forms…

This is a behind the scenes video of the beginning stages of preserving some photo panels (think scrapbook pages) from the Blue Whale. There are a total of 33 panels.

These panels have been on public display and handled nearly daily for the past several years. They have started to show the wear and tear and the photos have also begun deterioration from age. This preservation project should enable the Blue Whale gift shop to allow future visitors to enjoy the “new” panels for years to come. The original panels will go back to the Davis family.

Thanks to Oklahoma Route 66 Association member, Apertures Photo, for use of the studio and lighting equipment!

2018 Hall of Fame

On April 28, 2018 the Oklahoma Route 66 Association inducted two new members to the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame. The plaques for the hall of fame members are located at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK.

Motorcycle Specialty Plates!

The Oklahoma Route 66 Association is excited to announce that the State of Oklahoma now has a Route 66 Motorcycle specialty tag!

Much like the automobile plate, it features a Route 66 shield and the words “The Mother Road” across the bottom.

The plate is available at local tag offices or on the Oklahoma Tax Commission website under Special Interest plates. Since this is a brand new plate, the State of Oklahoma requires a minimum of 100 prepaid plates before they will start the printing process.

$20 from the sale of each of these tags will come back to the Oklahoma Route 66 Association to help us in our endeavors to promote and preserve our approximately 400 miles of Route 66.

If you own a motorcycle or know someone that does, please help us spread the news!!

Order your Route 66 motorcycle plate today!!


Road Ahead Partnership – 1st Quarter 2017 Update Summary


The Rt. 66 Road Ahead Partnership has released the 2017 1st Quarter Update Report.  2016 was a busy and productive year for the
Road Ahead and 2017 is off to a good start as the organization works to achieve the goals it has set for itself. The full version of the
Update Report can be found on the Road Ahead’s website at:
Several highlights from the report regarding the outcomes the Road Ahead is working to Achieve include:

Increased Collaboration
• The Road Ahead’s Board of Directors held its first meeting February 16-17, 2017. Representatives were present from each of
the states through which Rt. 66 runs.
• Dora Meroney, president of the Old Route 66 Association of Texas, was appointed Chair of the Road Ahead’s State Association
Advocacy Working Group
• Dries Bessels, The Netherlands, agreed to become Chairman of the Road Ahead’s International Advisory Group
• The Road Ahead’s Tribal Advisory Group held its 1st teleconference meeting and began work to identify goals

Effective Promotion
• HR66 was introduced in Congress to establish a Rt. 66 100th Anniversary Commission
• The Illinois General Assembly passed – 115 to 0 – a bill to establish an Illinois Rt. 66 100th Anniversary Commission
• A new Road Ahead Facebook pages was launched
• A new Road Ahead website was completed and will be launched in April after final proofing is completed

Purposeful Preservation
• A “Quick Reference Guide” designed to provide Rt. 66 stakeholders with historic preservation basic information, including
available resources, has been uploaded to the Rt. 66 Road Ahead website.

Increased Economic Vitality
• Pontiac, Illinois was chosen as an initial case study to use in the creation of a local economic development toolkit

Quality Research & Education
• Work is ongoing to construct two “toolkits” on education or research on Route 66

National Historic Trail Task Force
• HR801 was introduced in Congress to designate Rt. 66 a National Historic Trail – It has 11 co-sponsors
• The Task Force continues its work to recruit additional co-sponsors

Financial Sustainment Task Force
• To provide potential corporate sponsors with concrete examples of branding/marketing opportunities, the Task Force has
initiated discussions/planning with the Academy for Digital Entertainment at Breda University in The Netherlands to develop an
augmented reality-based gaming/marketing app. It has also initiated discussions/planning with the Arts Technology Program at
Illinois State University to develop an augmented reality-based directional/gaming app.

Questions or requests for additional information may be forwarded to:
Bill Thomas, Chairman, The Rt. 66 Road Ahead Partnership

2016 Hall of Fame

On Saturday August 6, 2016, the Oklahoma Route 66 Association announced the newest members of the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame.

This years inductees were Melvena Heisch, Deputy Director of the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office and Laurel Kane (1947-2016), former proprietor of Afton Station.

Melvena Heisch and Oklahoma Route 66 Association President Brad Nickson

Melvena Heisch and Oklahoma Route 66 Association President Brad Nickson (photo by Shellee Graham)

Sarah Kane (Laurel Kane's daughter) and Oklahoma Route 66 Association President Brad Nickson

Sarah Kane (Laurel Kane’s daughter) and Oklahoma Route 66 Association President Brad Nickson (photo by Shellee Graham)

Route 66 Crossings – Database Information

Book cover


© 2015 Jim Ross


COMPILED BY JIM ROSS IN PREPARATION FOR THE BOOK: ROUTE 66 CROSSINGS: Historic Bridges of the Mother Road, published in 2016 by THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA PRESS. It is recommended that the book be used as a companion to this database.


Information in this database makes no claim to the final word on the bridges of Route 66, simply because it remains a work in progress. In addition to unresolved questions about early Route 66 alignments in some areas as well as dates that certain pathways were signed as US 66, the quest to ferret out build dates and bridge types for many of the lost structures continues. Along that thread, no attempt was made to verify which bridges original to the interstates carried Route 66 signage as the route was gradually dismantled, though the ones likely to have done so are addressed in the database. Some culverts that were too small to qualify as bridges but with historical significance were documented also, along with a few notable examples of structures integral to the roadway, such as railroad grade separations and tunnels.

To the extent records were available, state departments of transportation were the primary source used to verify bridge types and build dates. It was also necessary to use unofficial web-based resources and documents found in the literature, not all of which could be considered reliable. In some instances, build dates were estimated (circa) based on favored designs for a given era and other supporting evidence.

Bridges are listed using a separate document for each Route 66 state (linked below), while entries within each document follow an east-to-west geographical order. In addition to the numbered entries, there are notes providing anecdotal information or giving brief mention of structures not more fully documented.

Not all bridges that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places are so noted, though many are. Finally, with few exceptions, references to direction will be Eastbound or Westbound, regardless of the true direction of the road in a given instance. Unless otherwise attributed, all photos are by the author.






New Mexico





On Saturday September 12, 2015 a group of volunteers from the Oklahoma Route 66 Association got together to do a little cleanup around the Will Rogers/Sidewalk HIghway Monument east of Afton, OK.

Photos from Afton Will Rogers/Sidewalk Highway Monument Cleanup

Here’s what was done…

  • The original concrete curbing on one side of the road was cleared from years of overgrowth.
  • We planted some bushes.
  • The protective posts received a fresh coat of paint.
  • And added a shield on the roadbed

Thank you to the volunteers!!!


Photo Scavenger Hunt

As you are probably aware, the International Route 66 Festival in Joplin, MO is coming up on August 1-3. The Oklahoma Route 66 Association is sponsoring a Photo Scavenger Hunt for you to do on your way to the Festival.
  • Using whatever camera you have and whatever apps you like…
  • Snap 6 photos of 6 different Oklahoma Route 66 Business member locations.  Business members are also listed in our annual Trip Guide.  It would be really nice if you stopped at the location and looked around, bought something, or had a snack or meal.
  • Show the photos to us at the Association’s booth and we’ll give you a Oklahoma/Route 66 trivia book.
Please see this flyer (PDF) for details:  Joplin Photo Scavenger Hunt
Hope to see you in Joplin!!

ODOT’s Cultural Resources Program

Reading through some correspondence with the Association this morning, I was presented with this web link:  It takes you to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Cultural Resources Program website.Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 11.16.47 AM

Of particular interest to Oklahoma Route 66 enthusiasts is the section on historic bridges and the surveys that ODOT has performed on historic bridges in Oklahoma.  The most recent inventory is the Oklahoma Historic Bridge Survey: Reevaluation of Spans of Time (May 2007).  There is a specific list of historic bridges located on Route 66.  There is also a link to county-by-county maps with the historic bridge locations marked.

Another portion of the bridge section has historic bridge narratives.  These are the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) standard documents covering the bridge’s history.  I don’t see the narrative for the recently replaced Verdigris bridge though…

Another section worth exploring is the Links section.  Here you will find links to Federal regulations related to historic preservation.  This is interesting from the standpoint of making yourself knowledgable about the “rules” that federal/state agencies have to follow when dealing with historic properties.