Diners, motor inns and gas stations -- those were standard sites on Route 66 for decades as tourists made their way through Northern Arizona.
That is until Interstate 40 was built.
“When I-40 came through the gas stations and so forth all moved over to 1-40 leaving behind them their old gas stations.”
That’s Karl Eberhard, Flagstaff’s city architect.
He says the tanks at those abandoned gas stations eventually began leaking petroleum into the water table.
A $700,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will help to identify problem spots along Route 66 in Flagstaff, Winslow and Holbrook, as well as other sites in Coconino and Navajo counties.
Eberhard says the city will then be able to apply for federal funds to clean up sites and redevelop them for business.