Route 66 grant funds available

Special to the Sun

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Pete Domenici encouraged New Mexico communities and organizations along Route 66 to apply for cost-share grants offered by the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is now accepting applications for its FY2006 cost-share grant cycle. The deadline for applications is April 28, with awards to be announced by July 7.

“Route 66 is an important part of our country’s cultural heritage,” Domenici said. “Restoring this embodiment of American freedom and mobility is enriching tourism in New Mexico and provides a link to the past for future generations of New Mexicans.”

Domenici serves on the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that provided $120,000 in 2006 to support the preservation and restoration of significant and historic Route 66 buildings, structures, roads, and landmarks, as well as Route 66 research. The national grant program derives from 1998 legislation sponsored by Domenici to provide a total of $10 million over 10 years for the project.

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is accepting applications now. Eligibility for the program requires at least a 50 percent cost-share match by applicant. All projects must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Applications and guidelines may be requested by calling the program office at (505) 988-6701 or online at

www.cr.nps.gov/rt66/grnts.

In 2004-05, New Mexicans received almost $50,000 in cost-share grants from the grant program for projects in Albuquerque, Tucumcari, and Gallup. The New Mexico Route 66 Association has also won grants for its “Route 66 Oral History Project.”

U.S. Highway 66, better known as “Route 66,” stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif. and passed through Albuquerque, Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, and Gallup, among other New Mexico towns.