Popular tourist attraction gets boost - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Popular tourist attraction gets boost

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One of Illinois' most famous and endangered historic landmarks is getting a bit of a boost.   The historic Route 66 Corridor has a new attraction in Towanda, a bike trail.   Building the bike path is part of an agreement between McLean County and neighboring villages as part of a program converting old rail lines into bike trails. 

Th wraps officially came off of the  $2.2 million dollar Route 66 bike trail Wednesday afternoon in Towanda. 

"The bikers they come, and they walk it, they look at all the information boards that's out and it brings business in for some of our small businesses," said Tonwanda Village Board Member Debbie Kinsella.

Another politician at the dedication points to the importance of Route 66... pumping hundreds of millions of tourism dollars into Illinois.

"The eight mile Route 66 bike trail runs through Towanda here and into Normal.

One visitor from California got a chance to test out the new bike trail inside Boyd Wesley Park. 

"It's Route 66 and it's this great bike trail, through all of Bloomington there were trails everywhere, I hardly got scared by any cars or trucks," said Chris Carmichael of Auburn, California.

Bloomington area Congressman Rodney Davis and Peoria area Congressman Darin Lahood have introduced bills to make the Illinois sections of Route 66 a national historic trail and commemorate its 100th anniversary.  If approved the bill could help pump federal dollars into maintaining the corridor, which stands to lose some of its funding in three years.

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