- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
(Reuters) - Oh heck. You can't drive on the Devil's highway in New Mexico
- Route 666, often referred to by locals as the "Highway
to Hell" or "Satan's Highway" was formally re-christened
Route 491 on Wednesday. Several prominent voices wanted new numbers for
one of the state's deadliest roads that lacked associations with the biblical
- "After 77 years of concern and discontent we have
finally removed any reference to the devil from this highway," said
Gov. Bill Richardson in a ceremonial dedication.
- The tortuous stretch of road runs through mountain valleys
from Gallup to Shiprock for just over 100 miles in the northwest part of
the state. It has some of the highest fatalities per mile of any highway
in New Mexico because of its poor condition.
- In 2002, 11 people were killed in crashes on U.S. 666
in New Mexico, while in the first six months of this year, six have perished,
the state transportation department said.
- The number 666 is called the number of the beast because
of a passage in the New Testament -- from Revelations -- and over the centuries
triple sixes have become associated with Satan.
- The road was renamed Route 491 because it is the fourth
route off U.S. 191.
- Most of the 666 highway signs were stolen after the name
change was announced in May. Officials blame thieves looking for souvenirs
and not the Devil.
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