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Although much of the original road has been subsumed by I-10 and other large highways, it's still possible to drive long stretches of the road, at least as it existed in the 1930s, through Florida, Louisiana and Texas. And where the original route has been lost, Kahl is trying to convince others to find the road, map it, preserve it, and pretty it up. She is planning a centennial motorcade that will travel along the road all the way across the country.
At its inception, U.S. Highway 66 consisted simply of existing State routes across the continent pieced together. The result was a national highway composed of a disparate chain of road segments stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles. Of all these first generation roadbeds, the Miami Nine-Foot Section must rank among the most unique. Constructed between 1919 and 1921, this three-mile segment south of Miami stands out because it is only nine feet wide. The reasons for this odd gauge remain obscure. Legend explains it as a lack of funding; highway engineers had the choice of either paving a short distance with two lanes or a longer distance with one lane, which was what they chose. Despite its peculiar width, the road was of sound construction according to the technology and materials of the time. The original roadbed consists of large stone, Topeka asphalt over a concrete base, flanked with five-foot gravel shoulders. At two sharp curves in this otherwise straight segment, the road widened and banked. Originally part of State Highway 7, this segment became Route 66 between Miami and Afton in 1926. It remained Route 66 until the realignment and widening of the highway in 1937. Today, the original roadbed and curbing are still visible in places, despite the covering of its Topeka asphalt with a more recent layer of asphalt and loose gravel. The road continues to serve local traffic.