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Once paved over, 'musical road' gets new life

The folks who silenced the nation's first "musical road" are singing a different tune, and have found a new home for what they hope will become a tourist attraction.
Image: Groves cut in the pavement play \"The William Tell Overture\"
Avenue G in Lancaster, Calif., on Thursday was looking quite different after grooves were carved in to play "The William Tell Overture."Molly Hauxwell / Antelope Valley Press
/ Source: The Associated Press

The folks who silenced the nation's first "musical road" are singing a different tune.

Lancaster city workers this week carved grooves on Avenue G that produce notes of the "William Tell Overture" when cars drive over them.

The high desert city north of Los Angeles placed the grooves on another road, Avenue K, last month for a Honda commercial. The quarter-mile strip was engineered to play the notes — better known as the theme for "The Lone Ranger" — when motorists in Honda Civics hit them at 55 mph.

It was believed to be the first such musical road in the United States, although there are others in Japan, South Korea and Holland.

The city paved over that stretch two weeks later after neighbors complained the noise was annoying and kept them awake.

The city, however, received hundreds of calls praising the road and decided to recreate the road in an industrial area away from homes.

"It will be a tourist attraction. It will pull people off the freeway," Mayor R. Rex Parris said.

Many residents also liked it.

"You drove over it and you didn't know what to expect. When we got to the end of it, I was smiling ear to ear," said Genevieve Skidmore, 80.

The City Council has approved spending up to $35,000 for the work, but officials said there has been interest from several companies in sponsoring the road and reimbursing the cost in return for publicity.