End of the road ahead? Route 66 named to list of endangered historic places

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Route 66 one of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places.

The non-profit is lobbying to have the 2,400-mile-long network of existing roads that make up the route of decommissioned highway system named the 20th National Historic Trail in the U.S., which would open up new avenues of federal funding for the promotion and upkeep for it and the sites that border it.

route 66

The historic route runs through eight states from Illinois to California.  (SA 3.0)

Legislation that would give the so-called "Mother Road" this designation is currently pending, but needs to be acted upon by the U.S. Senate and president before it expires this year. The trust has partnered with the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership to launch a petition urging its passage.

“Route 66 has fueled America’s imagination, popular culture, and passion for the open road for nearly a century,” National Trust for Historic Preservation President and CEO Stephanie Meeks, said in a press release.

“It deserves a place not just in our rearview mirror, but on our roadmap of unique travel experiences for generations to come.”

The route is currently funded in part through the work of dedicated associations in each of the eight states that it passes through, along with with some matching grants from the National Park Service. The 100th anniversary of its opening will be marked in 2026.

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor.