Adventure Cycling Association Forum

U.S. Bicycle Route System => Corridor 66 Implementation => Topic started by: bobclay99 on April 30, 2009, 02:18:37 am

Title: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on April 30, 2009, 02:18:37 am
The town of Normal, IL held a public meeting announcing their proposed Bike/Pedestrian Plan on Tuesday.  There was a good group citizens (30 or so) who got to hear from the Mayor and the Consultant they hired to prepare the plan.  It was very encouraging to hear from people who wanted to promote bike and pedestrian travel.  They will be putting the draft plan on the town’s web site, in a couple of weeks.  They also were asking for public comments and suggestions.   They are serious about the issue as evidenced by spending $50,000 consultant fee for the plan.  That is quite a bit of money for the town of 50,000 population.


At the meeting I met Don & Sharon A Mcginnis from the Friends of the Constitution Trail (Bloomington-Normal’s trail system).  I spoke to them about the Route 66 Bike Route.  They said Normal was attempting to get grants for part of the route.  They also said McLean County was active in grant seeking for Route 66 projects.  The Bloomington City Council had just voted Monday to spend over $600,000 on an extension southward of the main north-south branch of the Constitution Trail.  The federal government  had awarded a $1,000,000 grant for the $1.6 million project in previous years.  This extension will take the main north-south segment to just a few blocks from a long trail segment heading west.  This extension would be a part of the Bike Route 66.


All in all it was very encouraging to see signs of progress at the local level.  I think they are getting excited enough that grant applications will  be matched locally to enable continued progress as the federal funding grows.

Title: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: GSullivan on May 20, 2009, 12:55:06 pm
Here's another way local groups can get assistance with projects.

The National Park Service helps partners plan successful locally-led
outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation projects.

August 1 is the deadline for the next round of assistance from our
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss project ideas
with RTCA staff before submitting an application.

Visit for more information.

The folks are AWESOME and can really make a difference in planning and executing your projects. Give them a call and check out the program.

Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: GSullivan on May 20, 2009, 01:03:26 pm
So I spoke to Ed Barsotti at the League of Illinois Bicyclists and they have Route 66 mapped out. Check out the maps and their site:

Scroll down to the "User Guide Segments" to see the maps.

I believe there is a great deal of support that can be generated to create this US Bike Route. Let's get some other states to contribute to this discussion~
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on May 24, 2009, 02:17:21 am
The IL Dept of Natural Resources, League of Illinos Bicyclists and Illinois Trails Conservancy are planning a Media Ride on the Route 66 Trail Aug 29-Sept 3.  The purpose is to promote the Route 66 Bike route at various cities & towns along the route.  McLean County has been in the forefront of this effort.  Towanda and Lexington have bike paths several miles long established on Route 66 right of way.  Chenoa has received a federal grant for a similar path.  Normal has put an extension of the Route on its Bike plan with 5 miles of the Route 66 already constructed as part of the local Constitution Trail.  Bloomington has just voted a $1.6 Million extension to the Route.  McLean County has a long term 5 phase plan for a trail extending southward from Bloomington as part of Route 66.  There is a lot of momentum for this route especially with the tourism benefits associated with Route 66.

Bob Clay
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on July 24, 2009, 02:53:47 am
The McLean County Board in Illinois just approved an engineering contract for a 3 mile stretch of the route 66 Bikeway.  McLean County is hopefully the project will become "shovel ready" to attract Federal grant money for the $1.75 Million estimated construction cost.  The route would run from west Bloomington to Shirley, Illinois.  This is the first phase of a 5 phase plan in the County for the Route 66 Bikeway.  the muncipalities of Bloomington & Normal have recently adopted plans to extend the Constitution Trail some sections of which form part of the Route 66 Bikeway.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: LpAngelRob on August 13, 2009, 12:20:28 am
Wow, took a look at the trail segments. This is very well done!

I guess my question would be... what's the next step towards "official" USBR designation, when a solid route is already defined?

Carol Stream, IL
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on August 13, 2009, 12:51:16 am
The League of IL Bicylists with others did a great job detailing the route.  See for the route information.  The next step is still rather uncertain at this stage.  See the discussion at the thread "Process to approve a route for a Corridor"  in the Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors.  The State Department of Transportation has final authority to submit a proposed route.  The discussion about the process is the best way to convince the DOT that there is public support for the route and no political problems will result from them approving it.  Some suggest forming a Route Committee from communities along the route.  In this area (Central Illinois) there is strong support as Route 66 is already generating tourism spending.  Pontiac, IL even has a Route 66 musuem that draws European visitors.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond! NEW TRAIL CONSTRUCTION
Post by: bobclay99 on August 13, 2009, 12:59:33 am
I saw some more good news today.  I was driving on Old Route 66 from Bloomington to Pontiac as I like drive by the bike paths and think of the entire Route 66 having a Bike Route.  There is construction happening in CHENOA for a New Bike Trail!!!  :)    There was an announcement from September 2007 there was a federal grant awarded for it back then.  I had wondered what had happened regarding that grant, but now there is actual construction.   It is supposed to be about 3 miles long.  I would not be surprised if it was completed before winter.  This means we will now have Bike Paths in the following McLean County communities that are part of the Route 66 Bike Trail:  Bloomington,  Normal, Towanda, Lexington & Chenoa.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on August 18, 2009, 02:33:28 pm
Following editorial appeared in today’s (Tuesday Aug 18) Bloomington Normal’ Pantagraph Newspaper.  It can be seen on

It is nice support for the route and mentioned the Rt 66 Bike Ride later this month.

Bob Clay


Smart to plan for bike path tied to Mother Road

By The Pantagraph Editorial Board | Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:00 am | No Comments Posted

A day after the Normal City Council approved a bicycle-pedestrian master plan for the town, the McLean County Board approved an engineering contract for a section of a proposed Route 66 bikeway.

The two actions were not related - but they share a similar commitment to encouraging people to travel by bicycle. Ten years ago this September, an intergovernmental agreement was reached to share costs and planning for a Route 66 bikeway from Chenoa to McLean.

There are already short segments, some using pavement from abandoned portions of Route 66, in Chenoa, Lexington and Towanda.

In voting to approve the engineering contract, McLean County Board member Bette Rackauskas said that despite the tough economic times - and because of them - it is worthwhile to provide free entertainment for residents.

But this 3.75-mile segment would be part of a project that goes well beyond entertainment or recreation for local residents. The segment from west Bloomington to Shirley would be part of a proposed 370-mile Route 66 Bikeway that would stretch through Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis.

It closely follows the route of the "Mother Road" that was replaced by Interstate 55 for highway travelers but never replaced in the hearts of many.

There already is a route map developed through a joint effort of the League of Illinois Bicyclists, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and others. It includes turn-by-turn directions for a 122-mile ride from Dwight to Lincoln that also lists attractions, such as Pontiac's Route 66 Museum and Funks Grove Maple Sirup.

Long-distance bike trails are big tourist draws in Wisconsin, Missouri and elsewhere. Illinois lags behind these states in making use of this asset. Combining the popularity of bike trails with the international attraction of old Route 66 gives this project a two-pronged hook.

This might not be the right time to spend a lot of money on such a project, but planning should continue so it's ready to go when money is available.

Normal's bicycle-pedestrian master plan notes the "tremendous potential for the Town to realize the extensive recreational and economic benefits of bicycling" by being part of the Route 66 Bikeway.

Even without the bikeway completed, the route is attracting users. The League of Illinois Bicyclists is once again coordinating a trail ride along the route. Taking place Aug. 29 to Sept. 3, its purpose is to publicize and promote development of the trail.

Don't take this area's links to the Route 66 for granted. Appreciate the potential it offers for recreation and tourism. On the Web More details about the trail ride and maps of the route are available at League of Illinois Bicyclists' Web site:


Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: GSullivan on September 01, 2009, 06:54:13 pm
Great news!
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on September 03, 2009, 01:16:52 am
Route 66 Bike ride came to Bloomington Normal IL on Monday.  At a news conference, we heard from the two mayors and a state representative speak of the advantages of trails especially the Route 66 Bike path.

Below is newspaper article of the event.

Route 66 riders urge construction of bike trail
Story Discussion By Scott Richardson | | Posted: Monday, August 31, 2009 4:10 pm | (2) Comments

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Related: MyPantagraph: Constitution Trailblazers Group
BLOOMINGTON -- Bicyclists are getting their kicks on Route 66 this week.

Thirty to 50 people each day began riding bikes from the old Chain of Rocks bridge in Granite City to urge construction of a bike path along the historic roadway.

The 375-mile trek, sponsored by the League of Illinois Bicyclists and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, ends Thursday in Chicago.

After pedaling into Bloomington late Monday afternoon, cyclists were scheduled to spend the night after hearing Greg Koos of the McLean County Museum of History speak on the highway's importance. The journey will continue Tuesday through Pontiac and Dwight.

The cyclists are following the Route 66 bike path as it exists now, a collage of rural roads near the highway as well as parts of the road itself.

Their goal is to promote efforts to build the Route 66 Trail, a paved bike path running the length of the highway's right-of-way across the state. About 25 miles are completed, according to League of Illinois Bicyclists vice president Doug Oehler of Bloomington. A majority of those lie in McLean County in Towanda, Chenoa and Lexington.

Oehler and McLean County assistant county administrator Bill Wasson said the county, Bloomington and Normal are awaiting word on a federal grant to fund 80 percent of the path's construction from Bloomington to Funks Grove. The communities and the county would provide the rest. Both men said the international tourist interest and the potential recreational opportunities justify the investment.

"It's such an American icon," said Oehler.

"We believe the improvements will increase both the safety and recreational opportunities available to people interested in walking or biking along the Route 66 corridor," Wasson added.

On the Net:

Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on September 18, 2009, 12:17:34 am
Illinois Governor Quinn today announced grants that according to my addition total $8,602,000 for bike trails in Illinois.  Definitely makes some huge impact especially in McLean County with $1,440,000 for Route 66 trail.  Metropolis got $2,576,600 for the George Rogers Clark Discovery Trail.


Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: GSullivan on September 30, 2009, 01:47:32 pm
For all interested in this discussion, please join us for a US Bicycle Route System Regional Meeting on October 28 in Kalamazoo, MI. If you can't attend, we can send you conference call information.

This is a post-conference workshop in conjunction with the Mid America Trails and Greenways Conference (Oct25-27). You can find registration for the session on the conference brochure

The morning session will be called "Connecting Mid America with Trails and Greenways" and will go from 9-12 noon. A highlight for this morning session will be a presentation by the Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Ron Emery and Bike/Ped Coordinator, Josh DeBruyn on debunking the myths associated with on-road bicycle route designations (addressing liability concerns that agencies and trail managers might have). This is going to be an incredibly informative!

The afternoon session, 1pm - 3pm, will focus on USBRS route/trail development in the mid American states. Illinois trail administrators are invited to this session and we are trying to get the word out to other agencies and organizations.

Please pass this invitation along to anyone you think should be there. Information will be posted at or contact me for a pdf flyer or postcard invitation to pass along. You can reach me at gsullivan - at -

Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on October 08, 2009, 01:53:12 am
I rode out this evening on Bloomington’s Constitution Trail.  Imagine my pleasure when I noticed at the Southern Terminus of the Main North-South Branch construction activity.  The Trail currently ends at Grove St.  Construction has begun on the extension southward about ¾ mile to Lincoln St where there is a new short east-west section just being completed.  The east west section on Lincoln will at some time? connect to a long current east-west section (2.5miles?) that is  now part of the Route 66 Bike Trail.  The Southward extension gets the completed trail closer to the trail from the just announced funding for McLean County Route 66 southward from Bloomington to Shirley (about 3 miles).   Construction on this part is scheduled for next spring.  In a couple of years I hope that these sections will be connected.  Then Bike Route 66 would be all on trail from North Normal to Shirley (estimate 10 miles) and cut the present longer detour route.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on October 22, 2009, 01:08:35 am
I drove by the Chenoa IL Trail and construction appears to be complete.  It is about 1.0 mile long.  It goes from about 1/10 mile north of Route 24 to the south on the abandoned southbound Old Route 66 pavement.  At the south end there is a nice car parking lot for 20 or so cars.  Another good thing is that there is now a 4-way stop sign at the Route 24 –Route 66 Intersection to make the crossing of Route 24 much safer for bikers.  The trail could easily be extended to the north at very little cost as the abandoned southbound Old 66 lanes run to just south of Pontiac.  This is about 10 miles.  One can even ride on the current abandoned lanes instead of the still used 2 lane route, but there is intermittent grass to cross. 

Besides Chenoa, Lexington has about 3.7 miles of Bike trail along Route 66, Towanda has about 3 miles, and Bloomington-Normal 5.3 miles (plus 1.8 miles on current route likely to be rerouted as Constitution Trail gets extended).  Bloomington has a 0.8 mile extension under construction and McLean County has been funded and construction scheduled for Spring 2010 an added 3 miles.  Thus by next year 18.6 miles of the Route 66 Bike Route of the approximate 66 (ironic #) Miles in McLean County will be on off road trail. This would be 28% of the route and even higher % of the shortcut route.  Progress is happening on Bike Route 66 .

Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on April 01, 2010, 12:58:27 am
New Bridge put in place as part of Extension of Constitution Trail in Bloomington, IL. This segment will extend the Bike Route 66 Trail about 3/4 of a mile.  See photo at[/size][/size]

Workers position bridge linking Constitution Trail over Oakland
StoryDiscussionPantagraph staff | Posted: Saturday, March 27, 2010 4:59 pm | (40) Comments

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 A 75-foot long pedestrian bridge is raised into position as workers for Stark Excavating build a three-section bridge for Constitution Trail over Oakland Ave., Saturday, March 27, 2010, in Bloomington. (The Pantagraph, David Proeber) .
..Related Links
Related: Photo gallery: Constitution Trail bridge construction 03/28/10
BLOOMINGTON —An anticipated $1.6 million addition to the Constitution Trail took another step toward completion Saturday when three sections of concrete were added to an overpass under construction at Oakland Avenue.

Oakland between Bunn and McClun streets was closed to traffic Saturday as workers positioned a 17-foot high pedestrian bridge linking two sides of the trail. The ¾-mile addition will link the hiking and biking trail between Grove Street and Croxton Avenue.

Public Works Director Jim Karch said the trail extension will finish in May or June.

Federal funds paid for $1 million while park and water funds cover the city’s share of the project costs. Construction on the trail addition started in spring 2009, Karch said.

Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on May 30, 2010, 11:45:41 pm
Construction began last week on the 3.7 mile Bike Trail along Highway 66 from South Bloomington to Shirley Illinois.  Completion is expected this fall.  Construction of the 7/10 mile extension of the Constitution Trail Main North South Branch (also part of Bike Route 66) is also continuing with completion of that segment expected this summer.  Also at the last meeting of the Bike Route 66 Central Committee, McLean County announced they are applying for grants that would build a trail segment from North Normal along Route 66  to the Towanda Bike Trail.  Logan County Officials announced they had signed Bike Route Segments in Logan County.
Definitely a lot of exciting things are happening in Central Illinois to develop Bike Route 66.

Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on August 30, 2010, 02:15:48 pm
New 3.7 mile trail extension from South Bloomington to Shirley IL is complete.  This will become part of the Bike Route 66.  This trail will allow a route change to shortcut the current route about 2 miles.  Bloomington just completed 2 months ago  a 1/2 mile extension of the trail that is also part of the Route 66.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: Ryo69 on August 30, 2010, 05:10:47 pm
Thanks for the updates on the Route 66 trail.  Are the maps online updated as these changes are made? 
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on September 18, 2010, 03:35:02 am
Current online directions have not yet been updated.  I have suggested new directions that take advantage of these projects.  We are awaiting completion of one other sidepath project of about 1/2 mile of trail.  It is currently under construction.  At that point we will hopefully update the online route.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on October 13, 2010, 12:51:34 pm
Following is suggested route changes going north to south.
Bike Route 66  Suggested Route Change McLean County
Current Route - 9.9 miles

Start Constitution Trail and Grove St., Bloomington

Go   Dir   On                  Miles   Total
R   W   Grove St (past Beer Nuts factory   0.0      178.4
L   S   Robinson Ave.            0.1      178.5
R   W   Olive St               0.9      179.4
R   NW/W Constitution Trail         1.8      181.2
L   S   Nord Ln/Rabbit Hill Rd (just past I-55 underpass)
                        1.8      183.0
L   E   Six Points Rd (1200N)      0.6      183.6
R   S   Oakland Rd (1225E)         0.6      184.2
R   SE   Fox Creek Rd / 1050N      2.0      186.2
L   S   1075E/Park St-Shirley      2.0      188.2
L   E   Quinn St/ 850N            0.1      188.3

Suggested Route – 7.9 miles

Start Constitution Trail and Grove St., Bloomington

Go   Dir   On                  Miles   Total
                        0.0      178.4
Continue South on New Section Constitution Trail
                        0.6      179.0
R   W   Croxton Ave            0.1      179.1
L   S   Bunn St               1.2      180.3
R   W   Hamilton Rd or Sidepath      2.3      182.6
L   SW   Constitution Trail to Shirley (just past bridge over I-55)                           3.7      186.3
      (trail ends at Quinn St/ 850 N
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on October 13, 2010, 12:56:39 pm
Next meeting of IL Bike Route 66 Coordinating Committee is scheduled for 10:30am Thursday October 21 at Government Center 115 Washington St Bloomington, IL.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on December 03, 2010, 08:01:53 pm
Adventure Cycling Announces Route 66 to be new route.

Industry News

Get Your Bike Travel Fix on Route 66

For Immediate Release

Winona Bateman, media director
Adventure Cycling Association
800-755-2453, ext. 219

Missoula, Montana, Nov 22, 2010 -

Adventure Cycling Association today announced that its next long-distance cycling route will be Bicycle Route 66. Embracing the spirit of  "The Mother Road," the new route will follow the famous corridor from Chicago to Los Angeles on roads appropriate for cyclists and, when possible, on sections of the historic highway.

"Route 66 was the overwhelming favorite among our members for a new long-distance route," said Carla Majernik, Adventure Cycling's routes and mapping director. "It's a legendary corridor and, for our route network, a critical link through areas where we  have no routes, such as Oklahoma."

Established 84 years ago in November 1926, Route 66 was one of the original U.S. highways, ferrying travelers and migrants between Chicago and Los Angeles along the 2,451-mile roadway. The route traversed Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, connecting major cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, and Los Angeles. "The Mother Road" also flowed through small communities, which blossomed in the wake of the steady stream of travelers.

Small towns will be an important feature of Bicycle Route 66, and are favorite attractions for touring cyclists who look to get off the beaten path and make connections with locals during their journeys.

Similar to the flow of motor vehicle travelers along the original "Main Street of America," the influx of cyclists will provide an economic boost to small communities on the new route. There is growing evidence that touring cyclists spend more time in the towns that they visit, lingering (and spending) more than the average tourist. Wisconsin released a report earlier this year that out-of-state cyclists generate more than $530 million in economic development annually. And according to a 2008 study done along the Great Allegheny Passage (a nearly 150-mile bike trail situated between Cumberland, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), bicycle tourism has become a major economic force. Business owners reported that a quarter of their gross income comes from trail users and two-thirds of the businesses saw an increase in their revenue due to their location on the trail. Despite the economic downturn in 2008, businesses saw an increase in gross revenue attributable to the trail (from $32.6 million in 2007 to $40.6 million in 2008) and paid nearly 20% more wages as a result.

Lon Haldeman, an experienced Route 66 bike tour leader said, "This route can be done as a camping tour in roadside campgrounds, however there are many unique motels along the route which make this a good credit card tour type route. Eating in the old cafes and diners is part of the charm."

Bicycle Route 66 will take in the historic highway's iconic urban hubs, such as Chicago and St. Louis, marking the first time that Adventure Cycling's routes, which generally keep cyclists on the outskirts of large urban areas, will mesh with the goals of the official U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), which aims to connect rural and urban areas, from countryside to suburbs to city center. This will also be the first time that an Adventure Cycling route and an official U.S. Bicycle Route (USBR 66) will be developed in tandem.

"The vision for Bicycle Route 66 is the same as the original vision for Route 66, which was to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities," said Ginny Sullivan, special projects director for Adventure Cycling. "Bicycle Route 66 will be a perfect choice for traveling cyclists looking to explore the American heartland's natural beauty, history, and funky out-of-the-way places."

Work to create Bicycle Route 66 will involve partnerships between Adventure Cycling and organizations already working on implementation of state cycling routes that will follow the Route 66 corridor, for example in California, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Kevin Musset, past president of the Oklahoma Bicycle Coalition, said, "We are very excited that Adventure Cycling is undertaking this project. We will work with them however we can.

Preliminary development of Bicycle Route 66 will begin this winter, with the publication of maps expected in about 3 to 4 years, a typical timeline for development of a new Adventure Cycling long-distance route and all the accompanying information on services that cyclists have come to expect. Once complete, Bicycle Route 66 will bring Adventure Cycling's Route Network to over 43,000 miles.

# # #

Adventure Cycling Association is the premier bicycle travel organization in North America with over 44,000 members. A nonprofit organization, its mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. It produces routes and maps for cycling in North America, organizes more than 45 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle-travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine and The Cyclists' Yellow Pages online. With  40,699 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike travel adventures. Contact the office at (800) 755-BIKE (2453),, or visit


Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: bobclay99 on December 03, 2010, 08:07:18 pm
Bike Trail Grant Announced

McLean County Illinois has been awarded a Bike Trail grant to put offroad a section of the the Bike Route 66 from north Normal to a current trail located to the Northeast in the village of Towanda.  I am not sure of the exact distance to be built, but probably 3 to 5 mile range.  Construction probably to be done in 2011.
Title: Re: Route 66 in IL and beyond!
Post by: Bicycle Rider on January 20, 2012, 06:18:23 pm
Any of y'all figured out what you are going to do with the 150 miles between Albuquerque and Gallup? I found one spot: The Dancing eagle Casino and RV park (, it's situated about 50 miles west of Albuquerque, but that still leaves 100 miles of nothing. That's a hell of a gap even for a western A.C.A. route.