Driving the Route 66 Singing Highway

Eastbound on historic Route 66 just east of Albuquerque, slow down to 45 miles per hour and drive through the rumble strips to hear the song “America the Beautiful” on the Singing Highway. We tried it, and it works! Hear it in our latest podcast.

Route 66 Singing Highway

Route 66 Singing Highway

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In 2014 the National Geographic Channel installed the rumble strips for a program called “Crowd Control.” The idea was to get people to slow down on this stretch of highway leading into the town of Tijeras.

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The placement of the steel templates that made the grooves in the road was critical to get the correct tone. The closer the grooves were placed, the higher the pitch it produced. According to a contractor that appeared on the show, the difference in size between some of the templates was only 5 millimeters.

The song doesn’t last long; the rumble strips run for only 490 yards. But in that length you can hear the last part of the first verse of the song, from “America, America, God shed His grace on thee,” through “from sea to shining sea.” Beautiful!

Listen to the podcast to hear the song:

If you drive the Route 66 Singing Highway

East of Albuquerque on I-40, get off at Exit 170 onto Route 66. Drive about three miles east to reach the Singing Highway.


Planning to stay overnight in Albuquerque? Check rates and reviews of Albuquerque hotels on TripAdvisor.

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Route 66 Singing Highway


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