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New Route 66 Signs Going Up Across Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be installing 400 new Route 66 signs along highways and interstates ahead of the Mother Road’s 2026 centennial.

"These signs will ensure motorists have an easier way to spot the Mother Road in Oklahoma and bring awareness to this incredible treasure we have in the state. Oklahoma has more drivable miles of Route 66 than any other state, with over 400 miles stretching from Quapaw in northeast," said a statement from the office of Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who is also the state secretary of tourism and branding.

Oklahoma Route 66 Association President Rhys Martin said with the Mother Road’s path covering highways, interstates and local roads, sometimes it’s just hard to find.

"There’s plenty of guidebooks and things like that available, but there’s nothing that beats just a good, old-fashioned sign on the road letting you know you’re in the right place," Martin said.

The new signs keep the brown background that designates places of cultural significance, but they do away with white bands at the top and bottom in favor of the words 'historic route' in white lettering. A black-and-white Oklahoma U.S. 66 shield is in the middle. It’s similar to California’s Route 66 signs.

"I hope that helps folks not miss attractions and the kind of small-town main streets that dot Route 66 across the country. And places where you have this iconic shield will also hopefully encourage businesses to tie into that iconography if they haven’t already," Martin said.

ODOT is making a template for cities that want to add the new signs to their segments of Route 66.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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