The driving exhibit shows the original traffic signs that were once used

Atlanta offers a piece of American history with a new exhibit showing an original section of concrete roadbed built in 1924 when Illinois Route 4 became the first paved road through Logan County.

The exhibit gives visitors the impression of driving in the early years when Route 66 was established in 1926. Even though the historic US Route 66, Illinois Route 4 Driving Exhibit does not have an address, it can be reached by driving to NE Arch Street meets Sycamore Street. If you search via Google Maps, the exhibit is opposite the Holland Trucking Company complex.

Whitney Ortiz, director of tourism development in Atlanta, said the exhibit gives a realistic experience of what travel was like in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

“The roughly quarter-mile stretch of freeway retains its original 18-foot width, allowing only 9-foot-wide lanes for traveling vehicles. Features installed along the sides of the road include a period appropriate yellow stop sign [a color scheme eventually abandoned due to how difficult it was to see after dark]replicas of Atlanta’s original speed limit and population signs, as well as the classic black/white Route 66 shield, which at one time marked the entire route from Illinois to California,” Ortiz said.

“A vintage billboard at the south end of the lineup presents visitors to Atlanta with a fun photo op featuring an iconic image of a family road trip, with mom, dad, kids and dog on the back seat of the car. An interpretive sign for the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway program sits at the north end of the exhibit to tell the story of how teams of horses and mules were used to level and build this stretch of road across Logan County.

The driving exhibit is open all day, every day, with a solar light above the Scenic Byway interpretive panel for those visiting in the evening. The dead end road ends at the parking lot at its north end and may not be suitable for cars with trailers/RVs or large RVs over 40ft.

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