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Route 66 News

Section of old Route 66 in Kansas added to National Register

Kansas Route 66 copy

A 2-mile section of old Route 66 north of Baxter Springs, Kansas, was added to the National Register of Historic Places effective April 14, according to an email this week from the National Park Service.

The National Register designation was expected after the Kansas Historical Society nominated it in February. The section of roadway also was designated as part of the Kansas Historic Byway in 2011.

A description of the road from the nominating document:

This segment of Route 66 north of Baxter Springs, totaling 2.1 miles, is located between the historic Brush Creek bridge on the north and Willow Creek on the south. The entire length of the historic Route 66 in Kansas totaled only 13.2 miles, entering Cherokee County near Galena and exiting south of Baxter Springs. Cherokee County opened bids for the construction of this portion of the road on March 12, 1923. This was part of a larger Federal Highway Project between Joplin, Missouri, and Baxter Springs. The Federal Highway Commission designated Route 66 as part of a new national highway network on November 11, 1926. This section of road remained an integral part of Kansas Route 66 until a bypass was completed in the early 1960s. As a result, the road has largely served local traffic and tourists traveling the old route.

The Brush Creek Bridge also is known as the Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge, a popular spot for Route 66 travelers. The 1923 bridge was included to the National Register in 1983.

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2 thoughts on “Section of old Route 66 in Kansas added to National Register

  1. Randy Cox

    This is one of my favorite treks thru Baxter springs. It’s nice and relaxing and deserves the status of being historic. Although, the whole original route (the parts that are still there) along the interstates should also get historic designation since they are original slabs of highway.

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