MIAMI, OK – One historic highway is in the planning phases of being refurbished.
And leaders in Ottawa County hope it does more than just give the area a new look.
“Tourism really is a vehicle for city governments to utilize with tourism folks to say how can we bring in those outside dollars,” says Amanda Davis, Miami Oklahoma Visitors Bureau Executive Director.
One way Ottawa County leaders hope to bring in more tourism is refurbishing Route 66.
“What we got is a 1920 Federal Highway which is now a national trail, and we are going to bring that back to its original condition,” says Russell Earls, Ottawa County Commissioner.
Now in the engineering phase, the 5 year, $4,000,000 project will include milling out the 9 foot wide strip of asphalt and relaying it with Topeka asphalt.
And to help give it its original look, a full depth pavement will be constructed along with a chip seal and brown pea gravel.
“We already get a lot of tourism from this, but by refurbishing it, and making it where it’s a little nicer to travel, we know that people are gonna hit it a lot more often,” Earls said.
“We can get visitor dollars to come in, and that’s such a growing form of economic development because when you have those new dollars coming to your community, statistics will show you that that dollar will turn over seven times,” Davis said.
Davis adds those dollars then go out and benefits everyone in the community.
“That’s more money for your fire and police department, that’s more money for your parks programs, that’s more money for streets and infrastructure improvements.”
Refurbishing is scheduled to begin in 2023.