State Awards Funding for Route 66 Enhancements

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Heritage Corridor Destinations has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Office of Tourism.

The funding will be used to enhance attraction development along Route 66 in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the historic highway in 2026.

“I’m extremely happy that Heritage Corridor Destinations has been awarded at least $1 million for each of the past three years,” said Bob Navarro, President/CEO of Heritage Corridor Destinations.

“As we prepare for the centennial anniversary of Route 66 in 2026, this funding will allow us to enhance current destinations and develop new attractions along this important piece of American History.”

“I am thrilled that DCEO and Governor JB Pritzker have committed to reinforcing the prestige of the 86’th District as a premier destination for music and art in Illinois,” said state Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Elwood.

“Route 66 is an iconic part of our nation’s history and identity, and the 100th anniversary will bring in tourists, historians, and travel enthusiasts from around the world to experience our communities. These funds will help make sure this is a celebration that will be remembered for the next 100 years.”

Projects the grant money has been assigned to:

•Joliet Area Historical Museum-EV Golf Carts-Estimated $60,000
•Joliet Area Historical Museum-Signage for Old Joliet Prison-Estimated $75,000
•Illinois Rock and Roll Museum-Turn Up the Volume Exhibit-Estimated $180,000
•Dwight Texaco Station-Construction-Estimated $20,000
•City of Lockport-Route 66 Monument Enhancements-Estimated $45,000
•City of Joliet-Route 66 Park on Broadway St. Enhancements-Estimated $180,000
•City of Joliet-EV Stations/Landscaping/Parking-Estimated $117,000
•Plainfield Historical Society-Pumped Up on Plainfield Exhibit-Estimated $180,000
•City of Pontiac-Outdoor Visitor Kiosk-Estimated $52,000
•Rialto Square Theater-Exterior Centennial Mural-Estimated $35,000
•City of Dwight-EV Stations/Landscaping/Parking-Estimated $225,000

“The City of Lockport is excited to have received this Route 66 grant which will be used to expand the attractiveness of our portion of the Route 66 Interpretive Corridor,” said Lance Thies, Lockport Director of Community and Economic Development.

“Combined with the Route 66 shield and numbers, this native landscape park will not only highlight the sculpture but will also provide a pedestrian-centric community space that shows our commitment to sustainability through native plantings.”

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