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Route 66 now ends at Santa Monica Pier

November 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
U.S. Highway Route 66 is one of the original highways in the country, and in its 83 years, it has undergone many changes. On Wednesday, its official western point was named the Santa Monica Pier.It's a roadway so famous, it had its own song "Get Your Kicks on Route 66."

The original route stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles, and later, it was extended to Santa Monica. But the Santa Monica Pier has always been where many travelers ended up after crossing the country. For a lot of people, it just made sense to put a sign up to officially name the pier the "End of the Trail."

"Now that the route is actually been decommissioned, it makes it a lot easier, and gives us the freedom to finally name something officially that everybody else has been doing all along anyway," said Dan Rice, a merchant on the Santa Monica Pier.

Moving the end of Route 66 to the Santa Monica Pier isn't just about rearranging history. It's also about business. Everybody is hoping that those who come to take a picture will also spend some money.

"Isn't that what it's all about? I recognize the past, but I'm living in the present and the future," said Jim Cronkle of Route 66 Alliance.

"All these places need to have business, and these people want to come here, and so that's what we're providing them," he said.

Official or not, if the sign says the pier is where the road ends, then for many, that's enough.

City officials are already planning events to commemorate the pier as the end of Route 66.