(Victor Valley)–No highway in the world has captured the hearts and minds of travelers as much as Route 66, which is why the County of San Bernardino plans to designate a portion of this roadway “County Route 66” as it establishes the County Route Marker Program.
Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Brad Mitzelfelt initiated the program after noticing route markers in other California counties. A portion of historic Route 66 in his First District was the natural choice to launch the program, with other routes to be added in the future.
“Marking specially designated roadways will help motorists navigate the largest county in America by creating route numbers that won’t change as drivers enter and exit city and county areas,” Vice-Chairman Mitzelfelt said. “Signage along the route will highlight and celebrate sites of cultural and historical interest, generate tourism, and promote the county’s image.”
Vice-Chairman Mitzelfelt is using $45,000 of his office’s discretionary funding to pay for the signage on the route. No federal dollars or other funding sources will be tapped for this effort.
More than 250 miles of this iconic highway run the length of San Bernardino County from Upland through Needles, making a portion of Route 66 by far the most appropriate place to launch the County Route Marker Program, the first to be added in the state since 1983. Signs placed at various intervals along the route will serve as “bread crumbs” for travelers to follow as they explore significant landmarks.
County Route 66 will begin on National Trails Highway in the unincorporated community of Oro Grande at the border of the City of Victorville, continue north onto Main Street in the City of Barstow, continue east on Interstate 40, travel north on Nebo Street near Barstow, head east on National Trails Highway, and then north on Goffs Road to its junction with US-95.
Cultural and historical sites along this alignment include the City of Barstow and the communities of Daggett, Newberry Springs, Ludlow, Amboy, Cadiz, Chambless, Essex, and Goffs, as well as the Mojave National Preserve. This alignment can be expanded to include additional portions of or all of Route 66 at a later date.
The California County Route Marker Program was established in 1958 to mark county routes of major importance and public interest that are constructed and marked to sufficient safety standards. San Bernardino County will become the 43rd of California’s 58 counties to participate in the program.
The program requires the county and the cities through which the routes pass to adopt resolutions formally establishing a specific county route. The City of Barstow next month plans to consider a resolution to establish County Route 66, which would authorize the posting of signs within city. Once Barstow acts, the Board of Supervisors will consider adoption.
“I appreciate Barstow’s partnership in this initial effort establishing a County Route Marker Program in San Bernardino County,” Vice-Chairman Mitzelfelt said. “I have no doubt other cities will want to establish similar partnerships for roadways through their communities.”
The county has received letters of endorsement from the California Historic Route 66 Association and the California Route 66 Museum.