years, New Mexico officials have wanted to change the name of U.S.
666 – locally known as the “Highway to Hell.”
they’re going to get their wish. And now that the highway’s going
to get a new number, souvenir hunters are doing their part by making
the old number disappear as fast as possible.
road, so named because it was the sixth highway to branch off of
the famed U.S. Route 66, has held the number since 1942. In addition
to its Satanic-sounding name, U.S. 666 is well known as one of the
most dangerous highways in that state. Twenty-one people died on
the road and 144 were injured in 2000 and 2001, Reuters reported.
Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said in January he wanted to renovate
the road and change the highway’s name. According to The Associated
Press, in June, the American Association of State Highway and
Transportation announced plans to do its part, changing the number
from 666 to 491.
AP reported that as soon as the announcement came through, the
old “U.S. 666” signs started disappearing – and fast.
fact, not one sign remains between Gallup, NM, and the Colorado
the reports that we were changing the name, we virtually had everything
stolen. It was a feeding frenzy," S.U. Mahesh, a spokesman
for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, told The AP.
Even signs along the Utah portion of the road have been chainsawed
off by thieves.
officials say new U.S. 491 signs are on the way. Meanwhile, those
who want a little devil in their life can find at least one of the
signs on eBay, although, according to the seller, it was not from
the actual road.
666 is in the four corners region, running north along the Arizona
border from I-40 to the Colorado border, and then into Utah.