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What if you could create a musical masterpiece using only your car? On the Musical Highway, you can do just that!

musical highway

On the Musical Road

On this quarter-mile section of the highway, the rumble strips have been engineered to sound like the song “America the Beautiful.” But they won’t croon their patriotic tune for anyone with a lead foot. Drivers have to be going exactly 45 miles per hour (the speed limit) to hear the vibrations in action.

The “Musical Highway” was installed in 2014 as part of a partnership between the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the National Geographic Channel. It’s designed to encourage drivers on the otherwise unremarkable stretch of the historic road to slow down and adhere to the speed limit. Getting the rumble strips to serenade travelers required a fair bit of engineering. The individual strips had to be placed at the precise distance from one another to produce the notes they needed to sing their now-signature song.

People reacted favorably to the rumbling roadside concert. Some drivers even double back for a second shot at making the highway sing, if they somehow missed it on their first pass or found themselves traveling a bit too fast or slow. However, some say the song has gotten a bit out of tune in the years since the rumble strips were installed.

How and Where to Enjoy the Musical Highway

The “Musical Highway” is eastbound on Route 333 (part of the old Route 66 system) between mile markers 4 and 5, near exit 170. Be sure to drive at exactly 45mph so you can fully enjoy this patriotic tune from the comfort of your car!

Plan Your Musical Road Trip

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