Route 66 News

About 12 post offices on Route 66 may be closed

In an effort to cut costs, the U.S. Postal Service announced today it is targeting more than 3,600 post offices across the country for possible closure, including about a dozen on Route 66.

The USPS has created a full list of the post offices that may be closed. Here are the ones on Route 66:

  • Shirley, Ill.
  • Venice, Ill.
  • Nilwood, Ill.
  • Glenarm, Ill.
  • Waggoner, Ill.
  • Lawndale, Ill.
  • Maplewood, Mo.
  • Avilla, Mo.
  • Adrian, Texas
  • Cubero, N.M.
  • Newkirk, N.M.
  • Oatman, Ariz.

I combed through the list thoroughly; let me know whether I missed one.

One noteworthy post office also being targeted is Supai, Ariz. It’s not on Route 66, but delivers mail to locals in the Grand Canyon by pack mule — the only post office that does so.

Also, many of the big cities along the Mother Road — Chicago, Springfield, Ill., St. Louis, Springfield, Mo., Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, and the Los Angeles area — will likely see a few closures, but mail service will be consolidated to other facilities.

I’m honestly surprised the charming post office in Devil’s Elbow, Mo., hasn’t been targeted.

This is a sad development, but I’m not sure what else the USPS can do. The mailing service is hemorrhaging billions of dollars; it has little other choice than to cut back — including the possibility of mail service just three days a week.

15 thoughts on “About 12 post offices on Route 66 may be closed

  1. Peter

    A sad end of an era, yes, but Waggoner needs to go. The five minute drive to Farmersville will kill no one.

  2. Laurel

    I faced this list with some trepidation, hoping not to see Afton there. I’m glad it wasn’t! The other day the postmaster in Afton encouraged me to buy more stamps there because business had fallen off. If a couple of rolls of stamps bought by me could be the difference between life or death of the post office, there must be a big problem there.

  3. Scott Leitner

    Being a postal employee myself, I’ve seen the full list. Keep in mind that this is just an extended study list & nothing has been decided. In our area (I actually live on Rt. 6…see the article in this month’s issue :D) 22 offices are on the list. From what our supervisor said this morning, it’s level 11 offices and less that are under consideration. In other words, if an office is around 350 people or less, it’ll probably be on the list.

  4. Anonymous

    I’m not sure how you close 3600 offices and have “Expanded Access” (the USPS name for this list), but it’s sad news for those towns that will lose their office.

    1. Scott Leitner

      Well, the idea is to have “village post offices” which would be things like stores that would serve as contracted postal facilities. That’s why they’re doing studies. If a town doesn’t have anything like that, it probably won’t be closed. The store would be able to accept flat rate priority boxes, sell stamps, etc. but wouldn’t have to weigh any other parcels. What the postal service is actually doing is getting rid of building leases & postmaster positions. Most of these on the list have 1 employee: the postmaster. There’s a few exceptions like stations, but those are definitely a minority.

  5. DCloud

    Unfortunately, more and more people are using the internet to pay bills, communicate, etc. and this is called “progress”. It’s only the beginning I’m afraid. While I think there is lots to be gained from computer technology, there is also so much more being lost.

  6. Scott Leitner

    That’s what a lot of my colleagues think too. Many of them get upset when you tell them that you pay some of your bills automatically or over the internet, but short of using UPS or FedEx, which are more expensive, people still need to send parcels through the mail. Congress also wants to cut our pay, but most of us are barely making it on what we have. I clear $33,400 a year after insurance, taxes, SSI, etc, but the real problem is upper management. We have so many layers that make tons of money. We’re a medium sized post office but take care of the entire 613 ar and our postmaster makes $90,000 a year. If they’d cut that kind of waste maybe they wouldn’t have to close so many offices. Some of the towns on Route 66 need those offices (like Oatman).

    1. Ron

      You bring up a good point about Oatman. It’s not a big town at all. But it gets a ton of tourism traffic (about 500,000 visitors a year), and it’s more than 15 miles to the nearest post office in Mojave Valley.

      I’d think USPS would have to consider the remoteness of a town’s post office — and not just revenues — when a decision on closure is made.

  7. Anonymous

    I ship stuff all the time but by using a scale that I purchased, printing postage online, and ordering priority mail boxes that get delivered to my doorstep, as well as being able to schedule a pickup, I have very very very little use for a physical post office.

  8. Josh "stamperdude"

    I am quite surprised not to see more PO’s along 66 on the list. Being a stamp & postmark collector it saddens me each time a Post Office is decommissioned. I also noticed that Illinois tops your list with most PO’s. I’ve been to nearly every PO on 66 in Illinois and I am not surprised to see many of the towns listed for the possibility of consolidation. I’ve been meaning to send a Route 66 postcard (probably one of Bob Waldmires) to many towns to commemorate the 85th Anniversary. I guess I’d better get on the ball before too many more close. I’d love to have each of Bob’s postcards postmarked by the appropiate towns PO.

  9. Scott Leitner

    Oatman very well might keep it, but to most, it’s already a ghost town, albeit a popular one thanks to the burros & the highway. If there’s not a store in town that can sell postal products then the post office will stay. Josh, I’m kind of surprised too. Odell isn’t exactly a large town, but it’s not on the list. Like I said earlier, the best way to gauge it is find out how many people are in the town. Then it’s down to the # of businesses.

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