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The Highways In America (And Around The World) That Will Sing To You

The complete article appeared in Travel Awaits on July 4, 2021. This post highlights the three places in America that have a musical road. 

roads are created from strips or grooves on roads that make sounds when a car
crosses them. Rumble strips are used to alert drivers that they’re getting too
close to the edge of their lanes. The other kind, transverse strips, cross the
entire road and are used to signal drivers to slow down. It wasn’t long before
enterprising individuals realized that it doesn’t have to be noise that would
alert drivers. In fact, varying the length and distance of the strips or
grooves from each other can often create melodies when cars roll over them.
Such music will not only alert but also entertain drivers as well as their

1. Lancaster, California: sings the “William Tell
Overture” when we drove over it at a steady 50 miles per hour.

built on Avenue K on September 5, 2008, it was paved over just 18 days later
after nearby residents complained about the level of noise. The city recreated
it on October 15 on Avenue G, in the far left lane of the westbound side of the
road, 2 miles farther away from any residence. It is named after Honda Civic, the
brand that sponsored and featured it in its commercials at the time. The rhythm
is recognizable, but the intervals are a little too far off so the resemblance
is slight. Still, the experience is exhilarating. It thrilled us no end, so we
drove over it several times!”

2. Tijeras, New Mexico: plays “America the Beautiful” if you drive at a steady 45 miles per hour. 

“Labeled NM (or Route) 333, it is a bit hard to find but we finally did, between miles 4 and 5, eastbound on a two-lane diversionary
stretch of the historic U.S. Route 66 just off I-40 near the town of Tijeras,
New Mexico. This one…was so clear, and the song is so classically
inspiring that we also drove through it again and again and again!”

However, it is not being maintained. “It is quite sad
that politics may have interfered. The road still sings, so catch it while it
hasn’t totally faded!”

3. Auburn, Alabama: plays just the first seven notes of the Auburn Tigers fight song, “War Eagle.”

This was built by an alumnus of
Auburn University’s College of Engineering in Alabama. “The section of South Donahue Drive has been renamed the “War Eagle
Road.” With support from Auburn University and the National Center for Asphalt
Technology, it welcomes both fans and rivals of the team when they are
approaching the campus. Unlike the one in New Mexico, this musical road is a
permanent fixture.”

There are 43 more roads outside of the US:  “one in Denmark, another in
Hungary, three in South Korea, three in China, one in Iran, one in San Marino,
one in Taiwan, one in Indonesia, and 30 in Japan. A previous musical road in
the Netherlands has been removed.” This was the original musical road dubbed the
“Asphaltophone.” But it’s 
Japan which has had great success with them. One is near Mt. Fuji. It’s time to visit Japan again!




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