Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Visit two highways that sing to you as you drive

By Gail Marsh
Call me a skeptic, but really? Highways that sing? Yes, it’s true! The original concept came back in 1995 when two Danish artists invented the Asphaltophone: a series of raised pavement dots spaced apart in varying intervals to create different sounds as a vehicle drives over them at a specific speed.

In other words, orchestrated rumble strips. That annoying thunderous noise you hear when you veer off the road a bit? The bump-bump-bump sound you hear when your vehicle crosses the middle line? Turns out, when constructed in a particular way, rumble strips can actually produce various tones or musical notes as you drive over them. How crazy is that?! Not as crazy as it seems.

A worldly sight… er, sound!

South Korea installed musical rumble strips on its most dangerous highways. The government hoped that the unexpected jolt of music would help distracted motorists pay closer attention. Japan installed a number of singing streets, as well. It’s an attempt to help drivers stick to the posted speed limit. (When driving too slowly or too fast, the music is distorted.)

Musical highways aren’t for everyone. The Dutch government installed musical rumble strips as a way to liven up the journey across the monotonous, flat landscape in a stretch of northern Netherlands. Dutch residents of Jelsum insisted that the newly constructed singing highway passing by their town was a nuisance. They were not able to sleep because of the constant music (Netherlands’ national anthem). The singing road was removed just one week after its installation.

Where are the singing highways in the U.S.?

Two of the singing highways in the United States are in New Mexico and California. California’s musical road is located in Lancaster, on Avenue G between 30th and 40th Street West. It plays the “William Tell Overture.” Sort of. The problem with California’s singing highway is a mathematical error. The spacing of the raised strips was engineered incorrectly. In fact, California removed its first musical roadway in order to correct it. The second attempt? No better than the first. Reason? They followed the same engineering plans used in the first attempt! Oy.

New Mexico got it right, though! Their singing highway was made through a partnership between the New Mexico Department of Transportation and National Geographic in 2014. Where is this marvel? Just outside Tijeras, east of Albuquerque, eastbound on Route 66. And what does it play? “America the Beautiful,” of course! Watch the video below (and make sure your volume is turned up!).

If you could engineer a singing highway, where would it be located and what song would it play?

This article was originally posted on in October, 2021.


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David (@guest_256949)
1 month ago

I can’t drive 65!……I like to putt along the back roads and enjoy the view…
Or: “The Highway to Hell” some states roads are just in horrible condition.
As Diane probably knows, the Vantage Bridge deck is the worst even slowing to 30 mph, and has been for too many years…

Diane McGovern
1 month ago
Reply to  David

This Diane? Yep, I remember it very well, although I haven’t been over it for many years. We used to go visit my grandparents in Pomeroy, in the SE corner of Washington. If I remember correctly, even when I was just riding in the car, but also when I drove over it, it seemed like driving on ice. But, just now looking it up, the bridge deck is going to be resurfaced from this fall to fall of 2027. And I love the Wild Horse Monument. So cool! Thanks for the memories, David. Have a good night. 😀 –Diane

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles (@guest_256943)
1 month ago

77 Sunset Strip along Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood CA

Diane McGovern
1 month ago

Hi, Mitzi and Ed. Why did Edd “Kookie” Burns (and a comb, and the theme song) just pop into my head?🤔🤣 Have a good night. 😀 –Diane at

Darla (@guest_256770)
1 month ago

Even if it’s short lived I’d love to have more of these. So cool. And not dangerous and you clearly don’t have to veer off the road to hear. Humans can be so creative and innovative.

Neal Davis (@guest_220102)
10 months ago

A short section of road in Auburn, Alabama (home of Auburn University, Alabama’s land-grant university) plays several notes of the Auburn University fight song when driving the speed limit. The section is west-bound on South Donahue Drive just west of Lem Morrison Drive.

Wendy (@guest_219955)
10 months ago

I would have the musical road in DC playing our national anthem!

Leonard (@guest_219949)
10 months ago

Hmmm. So you have to veer off the lane to listen to music? Sounds like someone from the DOT should be given a Darwin award, or someone who crashes their vehicle after this stunt.

Last edited 10 months ago by Leonard
Spike (@guest_219946)
10 months ago

I’d place it somewhere I never drive or could hear it. “Sound of Silence”

In Minnesota the snow plows would erase it in short order anyway.

Bob p (@guest_219917)
10 months ago

If you have dual tires or tandem axels does it play in stereo? Lol

Sandi Pearson (@guest_208136)
1 year ago

Texas Hwy 287 South of Amarillo “Amarillo By Morning” Hwy 90. Anywhere…”The Eyes of Texas are Upon You”

HOWARD W SCHILLER (@guest_149223)
2 years ago

The original musical highway in Lancaster was installed by Honda and the city. Unfortunately it was on West Ave K and near homes. Can you imagine listening to that noise (music?) all day and night? I’ve lived here for over 30 years and when it was first put in you could hear it a half mile away. So the original was paved over and redone on Ave G, the same as on K, a mile and a half away from homes. And you have to drive it at just the right speed.

Debby Bradford (@guest_147983)
2 years ago

Coincidentally, I just drove the Lancaster, CA one last week! Honestly, it didn’t sound great. It’s pretty much the only tourist attraction in that town. I asked the locals what there was to do, they said “did you drive the musical road?” and I replied yes, and they said “that’s pretty much it.”

Mike Whelan (@guest_147503)
2 years ago

Houston, highway to NASA and it would be the original Star Trek theme.

Paul (@guest_147422)
2 years ago

Pink Floyd’s ‘the Wall’ just outside my mother in law’s window. 😇

BILLY Bob Thronton (@guest_147294)
2 years ago

If you drive over it in reverse, and it’s a Beatles Song, what happens?

GARY SCHULTZ (@guest_147279)
2 years ago

Unfortunately, the one in New Mexico is no longer working. I was in Albuquerque just last month and excited to experience it but the effort was apparently abandoned as too costly to maintain.

Zeet (@guest_147282)
2 years ago

I was there this month and it was still there. We circled around twice before we found it. It is not very long but Google maps has the location correct. 40 – 45 mph driving in the lane.

Zeet (@guest_147284)
2 years ago
Reply to  Zeet

BTW, there is no signage as show in the obscura link.

Last edited 2 years ago by Zeet
Eileen Brown (@guest_147359)
2 years ago
Reply to  Zeet


Joe (@guest_219937)
10 months ago

I drove it twice last March and it was recognizable.

Gary R (@guest_222665)
9 months ago

Was just there in December 2021. It’s still there but no signage to show the location. It works just great. You need to be close to the right edge of the lane in order to hear it. We missed it the first time we drove in the musical section as we were too far out from the edge.

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