Speed reduction sign.

Route 66 Musical Road

Field review by the editors.

Tijeras, New Mexico

The Route 66 Musical Road was paid for by the National Geographic Channel for its series, "Crowd Control." It was a social experiment to see if people would obey an unpopular law if a reward was offered. The law: a 45 mph speed limit. The reward: a "singing road" that would play a short clip of "America the Beautiful" if drivers obeyed the law.

The highway was heated with giant blowtorches, then a special rumble strip was pressed into the hot asphalt, just inside the white line marking the edge of the road. Audio engineers had designed the strip patterns to produce the individual notes of the song when driven over at the proper speed. The roadwork only took a day, and opened to traffic on October 1, 2014.

The song comes through clearly, but does sound slightly different depending on the size of your tires and vehicle. If you want to record the song, don't hold your phone out the window; all you'll hear is wind noise (And you might drop your phone).

Despite the popularity of the Musical Road, it was never duplicated on the westbound lane, so travelers driving west on Route 66 have to turn around and drive east to enjoy it.

The highway has held up surprisingly well. Maybe if everyone obeyed posted speeds, our roads would last longer.

Also see: Another Musical Road

Route 66 Musical Road

Address:
Route 66, Tijeras, NM
Directions:
West of town. I-40 exit 170, then drive east about 3.5 miles on Hwy 333/Route 66. Between mileposts 4 and 5, shortly after Route 66 crosses to the south side of I-40. The road is only musical driving eastbound.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

X-Ray MuseumX-Ray Museum, Albuquerque, NM - 4 mi.
National Museum of Nuclear Science and HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science and History, Albuquerque, NM - 7 mi.
Chainsaw-Carved Chainsaw LumberjackChainsaw-Carved Chainsaw Lumberjack, Albuquerque, NM - 7 mi.
In the region:
Breaking Bad Fan Memorial, Albuquerque, NM - 14 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in New Mexico

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in New Mexico.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

New Mexico Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, Kansas (Jun 14-20, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now

 

Favorite Quirky City Sights