Exploring A Little Piece of Route 66 History

I’ve recently been thinking about New Mexico history and how quickly things have changed in the last fifty years.  We’ve lived here for over 20 years now, and it’s amazing how it’s changed in just that short time.  

So on a recent drive on 333 (along I-40) to Tijeras I noticed an area near the highway where it looked like an old road had been built.  I had been wondering if there were any traces of the original Route 66 between Albuquerque and Tijeras.  So I parked and walked up an embankment to the graded area and sure enough, I found an old road.

rt66-westbound

These photos show the East and West views from the road.  At first glance there’s no sign of a paved road, it just looks like a dirt road that goes nowhere, ending at the edge of the Sandias.

rt66-eastbound

However it didn’t take a long walk for me to find what looked like scrapped road materials, namely very dry and brittle gravel and tar, along with some steel cables.  

rt66-archeology

After the Federal Highway Act of 1956, construction of Interstate 40 through New Mexico started in the 1960’s, and was completed through Albuquerque in 1970.  I would guess that this stretch of Route 66 must have been cut off from the world sometime around 1970.

I’m not sure if all of this is really a part of the original Rt-66 entering Albuquerque from the East, but it would have made sense to build it here.  Perhaps someone remembers and can post a comment about it here.  

rt66-roadpiece

In any event here’s I little souvenir from the ‘likely’ Rt 66 I explored.  Just like that last can of anchovies on Futurama, it will be for sale on eBay in 1,000 years for a trillion dollars.  In the meantime close your browser, and go explore our amazing world!

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About sandiachris

I love the diverse people and cultures in the United States and especially New Mexico & Colorado. I enjoy exploring new trails, as the South West USA is amazing. I'm a small business owner and software developer. I've taught economics, built computers, vegetable oil powered cars, software, and like to write about things that could make our lives more meaningful, pleasant and less stressful.
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One Response to Exploring A Little Piece of Route 66 History

  1. Russell Cook says:

    The old bit of roadbed you found is this exact curve shown here http://66postcards.com/postcards/nm/NM038450.html , part of the original 2-lane Route 66 before the 4-lane was built.

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