Route 66 easier to follow across Oklahoma; 400 new signs installed during 2021

Joplin News

Oklahoma is preparing for 2026 when The Mother Road celebrates 100 years.

COMMERCE, Okla. – 2021 marked 75 years since Nat King Cole released the classic song what would become the definitive song for people to “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66.” Travelers and Route 66 enthusiasts who “plan to motor west” will have an easier way to spot the Mother Road in Oklahoma. During 2021 revised historical route markers were placed across the state along key areas as one of the first visual cues that the state is getting ready for the upcoming Route 66 centennial celebrations in 2026.

According to a media release the new design is the result of input from Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who is also the state’s Secretary of Tourism & Branding, the Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission, the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, the Route 66 Alliance and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

“Travelling on Route 66 and seeing the incredible history of this highway in person is a destination trip for people worldwide, and we are so incredibly fortunate to have this gem right here in our state,” Pinnell said. “These signs will help drivers easily identify areas of the Mother Road and bring new awareness to this transportation treasure in Oklahoma.”

The signs have a brown background which is used nationally to designate areas of cultural significance. The words “historic” and “route” in white letters, is a change from the current design that uses black lettering. A historic font pays homage to the early version of the signs and the recognizable US-66 shield is featured.

“Oklahoma has more drivable miles of Route 66 than any other state, making it an easily accessible historic destination which will showcase the signs all around our state,” Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz said. “These signs are a low-cost project that will have a major impact for everyone wanting to see what makes Route 66 so special.

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DID YOU KNOW? Oklahoma has more drivable miles of Route 66 than other states; 400 miles of the Mother Road stretch from Quapaw in northeast Oklahoma to Texola in western Oklahoma, with many historic and roadside attractions remaining along the route.

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