War Eagle, Fly Down the Road

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Auburn-Opelika Tourism

War Eagle, Fly Down the Road

There’s a new tradition to add to your Auburn experience, and even new visitors (also known as future fans!) will be delighted when they take a trip down North Donahue Drive near the Big Red Barn. The area’s first musical road now exists, thanks to the ingenuity and creativity of Auburn Engineering alum Tim Arnold. First there were tigers and toilet paper. Lemonade and soaring eagles. And now the only road in the world that plays the Auburn fight song. The list of things that make us special just keeps getting better and better!

Dubbed the “War Eagle Road,” this musical road is located on South Donahue Drive off exit 51. Drivers who follow the road’s speed limit—35 miles per hour—can enjoy hearing the Auburn Tigers fight song as they roll over this incredible feat of engineering.

“It’s really a way to welcome people with this feeling of excitement by hearing the fight song any time they drive onto campus, day or night,” Arnold said. “Every time I reached exit 51 after I graduated, I’d get that giddy feeling that meant I was arriving back in Auburn, and I wanted this to encompass that for other people.”

“I'm thrilled to have created something for Auburn that exhibits our traditions in a fun, new way,” Arnold said. “I think the road really enhances the Auburn experience. If someone needs a boost of Auburn spirit, all they have to do is drive down Donahue towards campus.”

“The basic idea is that the bumps make your tires vibrate, and the ‘math’ behind the bumps makes that vibration match the same thing as a guitar string or anything else playing a musical note,” Arnold said. “Our little musical road simply makes cars hum the Auburn fight song when they drive into town.”

Complicated math aside, Arnold is excited for what the road will mean for the community.

Building the road didn’t come without its challenges. It was an undertaking that involved a lot of complex math, and Arnold admitted he often found himself struggling with the balance between being “patient and persistent.” But he is very proud of an end product that means so much to the community.

 

 

As proud as he is, Arnold doesn’t plan to stop here. He would like to see more musical roads in Auburn, each telling a different story about our community. He’s already started working on the math to program a road that would play “Glory Glory to Ole Auburn” on College Street for fans driving in from Highway 280.

“I think it would be fun to sort of have a scavenger hunt for them around town,” he said. “I’d like to put a few all over town and it would be an adventure to hit them all.”

Above all, Arnold said he has been most excited about the outpouring of support from the community.

“It’s been a thrill to see so many great posts and comments and to see how happy it makes people,” he said. “It’s exactly what I wanted, but way more than I had ever imagined.”

 

 

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