In November 2013, at a meeting of Route 66 stakeholders in Anaheim, CA., the National Park Service and the World Monuments Fund ignited the formation of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership.
We are a dynamic coalition of state-level Route 66 associations, tourism bureaus, historic preservation groups, transportation departments, and individual businesses and attractions. United, we represent the rich tapestry of interests spanning the entire iconic Route 66 corridor.
We are dedicated and pledged to reinvigorate and sustain Route 66 as both a national and an international icon, for the enduring benefit of its diverse communities, intrepid travelers, myriad businesses, and captivating attractions.
The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership is focused on five pivotal pillars: Promotion, Preservation, Research, Education, and Economic Development. Each is vital to the well-being of the Route 66 Corridor. With passionate dedication, we honor the legendary road's storied past while vigorously championing its vibrant future.
In line with our organization's core mission, we initiated plans in 2018 to capitalize on the upcoming 2026 Centennial of Route 66.
Our goal is to harness this landmark event to benefit the road’s present and future vitality. Toward this end, we've crafted a focused Centennial Strategy, which serves as the cornerstone of these efforts.
The essence of the strategy is not only to celebrate and commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 but also to utilize this significant milestone as a catalyst for enriching the lives of the millions who live, work, and travel along this iconic highway with:
Centennial Celebrations: Engaging public activities and events that are not only special and unique but also imbued with a sense of fun and adventure to mark the historic centenary of the Mother Road.
Centennial Commemorations: Events and projects that acknowledge the enduring role Route 66 has played—and continues to play—in American history and culture, thereby honoring the people, the Road and the communities it connects.
Centennial Actions that Honor: Targeted activities that focus on the critical areas of preservation, tourism promotion and development, research and education, as well as the economic upliftment of Route 66 and its surrounding communities.
Through these initiatives, we aim to pay homage to the iconic past of Route 66 while laying the groundwork for a vibrant and sustainable future.
These organizations are a part of and support the Road Ahead Partnership in our initiatives. programs and centennial activities
WMF listed Route 66 on its 2008 Watch List to draw attention to the complex challenges of preserving not only an iconic cultural landscape, but an historic American experience. In 2013 WMF laid groundwork for the formation of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership and continues to support its efforts today.
Since 2017, the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and the Road Ahead have worked together via a Master Cooperative Agreement to revitalize and sustain Route 66 for the benefit of all of the road.
In 2007, the National Trust included Route 66 motels on its annual 11-Most Endangered Historic Places list, beginning a focus on supporting Route 66 and the Road Ahead that continues today with its Preserve Route 66 initiative and a major gift for Road Ahead projects.
In 2021, the Road Ahead Partnership and America250, the Federal Commission dedicated to celebrating our nation’s semiquincentennial in 2026, formed a partnership to ignite the country’s imagination, elevate its diverse stories, and inspire community service to demonstrate the lasting durability of the American project.
The Road Ahead Partnership was incorporated in June of 2016. Its official name, as stated in the Certificate of Incorporation under the Illinois General Not-For-Profit Corporation Act, is Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative. It does business as The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership. In August 2016, the Internal Revenue Service determined Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative was exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).