GALENA, Kan. (AP) — A restored viaduct along the historic Route 66 will be dedicated next week near the southeast Kansas town of Galena, marking the latest effort to preserve a landmark from the famed Chicago-to-California "Mother Road."

The bridge serves as a gateway to Galena's historic district and the famous "Cars on the Route" stop — the old Kan-O-Tex Station that's home to the truck "Tow Tater," which served as the inspiration for Tow Mater in the Pixar movie "Cars," The Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/2uVzRqO ) reported.

The mayor of 3,000-resident Galena, Dale Oglesby, calls the restoration of the 216-foot-long bridge — scheduled for a public dedication next Saturday, complete with live music and fireworks — "the best project since we did downtown."

"The revitalization of Route 66 is happening, and that's been happening since cars came. It's outstanding and has really helped our economic growth," said Renee Charles, the Kansas Historic Route 66 Association's president.

Kansas has the shortest segment of Route 66 — 13.2 miles (21.24 kilometers) — of any state that the highway crossed.

Built in the early 1920s, the viaduct just a mile west of the Missouri border towers above the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cherokee County received a roughly $194,000 grant last year to complete the repairs and contributed an additional $193,000 for the project.

The viaduct was shut down for repairs to its bridge deck and rails in April, with the top of the bridge repaved with a sand finish to resemble the original color. Waste from the area's lead and zinc mines was used in the original roadbed.

"We had a choice of tearing it down or continuing a part of history," Cherokee County Commissioner Pat Collins said. "We wanted to save this for the people who come along after us."

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com