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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meetings on Route 66 Trail

Bicycle advocates in Macoupin and Montgomery counties are seeking your support of a proposal to convert a portion of an old alignment of historic Route 66 between Staunton and Litchfield, Ill., into a bicycle trail.

This particular alignment -- the final alignment of Route 66 used before the completion of Interstate 55 -- was a four-lane divided highway between the two communities and also skirted the community of Mount Olive. Today, only two of the lanes are being used. The other two lanes, which are paved with concrete, are partly covered with dirt and grass, which can be easily removed to reveal the concrete surface.

Trail advocates will be meeting Thursday (Jan. 14) with the Route 66 Trail Southern Region Committee to show their support for the bicycle trail. The meeting takes place at 10 a.m. in Room L104 of the Administration Building at the Lincoln Land Community Southern Region Education Center, 1 Lincoln Land Trail in Litchfield.

The Southern Region Committee is expected to bring its recommendation to the Route 66 Trail Executive Council meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at the Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.

The advocates, led by Macoupin County native John Fritsche, is asking individuals, village boards and city councils, school districts, counties and chambers of commerce to support the bicycle trail. Here's a sample resolution that people can use to show their support:

"I or We, hereby endorse and support the development of a 17 mile Historic Route 66 Recreational Trail from Staunton through Mt Olive to Litchfield for the health and welfare of the citizenry in our region.  This unique trail would utilize the long abandoned and unused northbound lane of the Historic Route 66 “Mother Road” from Staunton, through Mt.Olive to Litchfield, Illinois."

If you can't make it to the meetings, you can express your support of the trail project by writing John at hroute66rectrail@gmail.com

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is working with the Route 66 Trail Executive Council to develop programs and projects along Route 66 alignments between Chicago and St. Louis.

The roadway where the trail is proposed still belongs to the Illinois Department of Transportation. One thing that should work in the trail advocates favor is that the current IDOT director, Gary Hannig, was a longtime state representative who served Macoupin and Montgomery counties.

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 2:50 PM

I'll be there at the 14th meeting with bells on! Have made phone calls to others to attend. Let's get this show on the road, the "Mother Road" that is!

Jim Marcacci
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