Route 66 in the News
MoDOT Recommends Route 66 Welcome Center in Webb City
CARTHAGE, Mo. - State funds will go to build a Route 66 welcome center in Webb City and trails in Joplin and Carl Junction if a recommendation from a local committee to the Missouri Department of Transportation goes through.
An area committee of transportation and economic development officials and planners recommended that four projects, two trails in Joplin, a trail in Carl Junction and a Route 66 Welcome Center in Webb City, share $646,800 in transportation enhancement grants from MoDOT.
Chuck Surface, economic development director for Webb City, said the welcome center is being built in a former gas station one block west of Main Street on Broadway Street on a jog in the original Route 66.
“It’s a place where Route 66 jagged one way, then immediately turned back the other way,” Surface said. “It’s an old gas station that the city acquired and with the help of the DNR we removed the old gas tanks, there were six of them, and cleaned up the residual pollution.”
Surface said he believed Webb City would get a little more than $25,000 of the money from the enhancement grant.
He said the city would like to incorporate the welcome center into a Route 66 park. He said the city is not sure whether the park and welcome center will open this fall or in the spring of 2010.
Other projects that could receive money are the Ozark Memorial Trail and Turkey Creek Trail in Joplin and the Thom’s Station Trail in Carl Junction.
A local committee comprised of the Harry S Truman Coordinating Council, the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization, the Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission and the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments selected these projects.
The Transportation Enhancement Program is a federally funded program administered by the state in which up to 80 percent of eligible costs may be reimbursable. These funds can only be used for enhancement projects. The Southwest District received $646,800 of Transportation Enhancement funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
~John Hacker, Carthage Press