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City Pursues New Route 66 Attractions and Developments Ahead of 2026 Centennial

This article was archived on 6/2/2024

The City of Tulsa is looking ahead to the 2026 Route 66 Centennial and will release four Requests for Proposals for a Route 66 roadside attraction, new development, and a new interactive experience to help enhance the Mother Road in Tulsa.

"When the time comes for the Route 66 Centennial in 2026, we want the new development, roadside attraction, and other Route 66 programming to be in place and ready for Tulsans and tourists to enjoy," Mayor G.T. Bynum said. "These specific projects will give a nod to the past, present, and future of Route 66 while also complementing other Oklahoma Route 66 roadside attractions in Tulsa and beyond."

Cry Baby Hill Roadside Attraction

At 815 S. Riverside Drive, the site of Cry Baby Hill during the annual Tulsa Tough cycling event is a popular destination for Tulsans and tourists alike. The vision for a new roadside attraction at this site is a kitsch, placemaking installation that nods to the Route 66 aesthetic and heritage, while highlighting the site's current cycling lore as a contemporary Tulsa story.

The likely site for this roadside attraction would be west of the island between the entry and exit driveways of the parking lot on the hill. The specifications for this roadside attraction artwork are relatively open, except that it is not permitted to exceed the height of the Buck Atom statue at Buck Atom's Cosmic Curios on 66, 1347 E. 11th St.

New Route 66 Development

At Riverside and Southwest Boulevard the City is seeking proposals for a new development that will integrate with the Cry Baby Hill roadside attraction and continue to explore recreational opportunities at Zink Lake. The vision for the area is a commercial development with programmable outdoor space that enhances the tourist experience on Route 66 while also providing neighborhood-serving retail. All commercial proposals are welcome and a maximum intensity for a hotel/motel will be up to 105 rooms.

Interactive Experience along Route 66 in Tulsa

Ahead of the Route 66 Centennial, the City is seeking a technology consultant to develop a web and mobile product that enriches individuals’ understanding of Route 66. Digital storytelling via augmented reality will provide an “outdoor museum". The site-specific installations or digital monuments will highlight significant places, stories, and plans for Route 66. The final product may include animation, 360 views, gamification, wayfinding, or other features with accessibility for the user via QR codes. Ultimately, the interactive experience will be managed by Visit Tulsa.

To create this interactive experience, the City is releasing a fourth RFP seeking a curation expert and researcher to create multimedia materials that depict Route 66 in Tulsa including audio, video, photographs, narrative, and artistic content to use in the site-specific installations. Materials should show the historical and cultural significance of Route 66, focused on past establishments, contemporary attractions, and future imaginings.

With the planned requests for proposals, zoning code amendments to establish provisions for roadside attractions in the Route 66 overlay are also underway.

The link to all RFPs can be found on the City website: and each proposal will be on a different timeline. The first proposal for the Cry Baby Hill RFP is currently open. For more information about Route 66 in Tulsa and the City of Tulsa's efforts and video about the famed Mother Road, visit: