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Kansas Route 66

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Kansas Route 66 Town by Town Photo Gallery

U.S. Route 66 (US 66, Route 66), the historic east–west US highway between Chicago, Illinois and Santa Monica, California, passed through one brief segment in the southeastern corner of Kansas. It entered the state south of Baxter Springs and continued north until it crossed the Brush Creek, from where it turned east and left the state in Galena. After the decertification of the highway in 1985, this road segment was numbered as US-69 (alternate) from Quapaw, Oklahoma north to Riverton, Kansas and as K-66 (Kansas highway) from Riverton east to Route 66 in Missouri.

The eleven miles of US-66 in Kansas retains much of the character of the Mother Road. It passes through Baxter Springs, Riverton and Galena in Cherokee County. In 1929 the US-66 in Kansas was paved, Kansas being the first state to do that.

In Galena, US-66 originally turned north on Main Street, then east on Front Street before leaving the state as Route 66 to Central City, Missouri. This portion was changed in 1979 to remain on 7th Avenue, seven blocks south of the original routing, eastward to the Missouri state line.

When US-66 was bypassed by Interstate 44 in 1961, the new Interstate highway crossed directly from Oklahoma to Missouri, bypassing Kansas entirely. US-69 Alternate was formed in 1985 when US-66 was decommissioned; the remainder of US-66 in Kansas became K-66. The final (1985) alignment of US-66 therefore perfectly matches present US-69 Alternate and K-66.

Historic Kansas US route 66 as you enter Kansas.

Historic Kansas US route 66 as you enter Kansas.

All images are available for sale as prints or for commercial use.

Interactive Google Map

Use the map  + – controls to zoom in and out, use the Map drop-down to change to “Map”, “Satellite”, “Hybrid”, or “Terrain” views.  Drag the little man icon from the upper left corner to a map location for street level view. Click on a pushpin for more information about the Route 66 location, then click on the title to go to the location page.

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