Heritage Corridor Destinations Awarded $1.6 Million Grant

Heritage Corridor Destinations, in coordination with more than a dozen municipalities, has been awarded a $1.6 million grant under the Route 66 Grant Program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Econonmic Opportunity (DCEO). The grant program was open to Illinois’ Certified Conventions and Visitors Bureaus with

the money being directed towards the development of tourism, education, preservation, and promotion leading up to the 100th Anniversary of Route 66 in 2026, with a focus on future transportation and tourism trends such as electric vehicles.

“We’re thrilled to be receiving this grant for marketing and product development along Route 66 for the second year. In addition to expanding statewide marketing efforts, this grant means more Route 66 attraction development in our communities as we prepare for the Centennial of Route 66,” said Bob Navarro, President/CEO of Heritage Corridor Destinations.

The grant will build upon the projects from the Heritage Corridor’s 2022 grant, with additional Route 66 Community Monuments coming to local communities, new EV charging stations and expanded state-wide marketing efforts in conjunction with partners across the state.

Route 66 Community Monument at the Joliet Area Historical Museum

•Route 66 Community Monuments                                                              

The expansion of last year’s program that saw thirteen 3D “Route 66” shield sculptures. New communities included in this year’s grant-Darien, Oak Brook Terrace,        

Bolingbrook, Wilmington, Elwood, Chicago Southland Oasis and Crest Hill.


The City of Joliet will receive funding for the Union Depot Tower Railroad Museum which will offer a dedicated space for education and celebrating the unique role that Joliet 

has played in the national passenger and freight movement. Also coming to Joliet will be a unique exhibit on the important role that the bridges have played in the history of   

the city.

•Public Art

New murals highlighting the past and future of Route 66 will be commissioned from local artists and installed in Lockport, Pontiac and Wilmington.

•EV Stations

New parking lots with EV stations will be installed in Lockport, Bolingbrook and Joliet which will allow visitors to “linger longer” to shop, dine and explore while charging the EV 

during their road trip experience.


About Heritage Corridor Destinations

Heritage Corridor Destinations ignites, influences, and impacts the visitor experience through tourism partnerships within the communities and counties along the historic I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor. Starting just a few miles southwest of Chicago and extending southwest through Starved Rock Country. The Bureau is the officially certified bureau for the following counties: Bureau, Grundy, LaSalle, Princeton, Putnam and Will.