The Graffiti Highway is one of the most popular locations to visit in Centralia PA. On a typical day, one can travel along the road and see many other people walking it.
This thoroughfare wasn’t always known as the Graffiti Highway. In fact, that name was coined as recently as 2010. Previously, the road was simply called by what it truly is – an old, abandoned section of Route 61.
A piece of Route 61 just south of the town had to be closed in the early 1990s. The mine fire in Centralia Pennsylvania posed a real threat to the structural integrity of it. Subsidence was leading to uneven surfaces and steam poured out through cracks in the asphalt.
PennDOT bypassed this section of Route 61 with an improved portion of Byrnesville Road. After it was upgraded, the bypass adopted the name Route 61, and the old section of the road was left to the elements.
For some time, no one gave much thought to visiting the nearly one mile long abandoned stretch of Route 61. However, as Centralia began to develop a following online, more curious onlookers explored the town.
One of the results was that some people found and used the open road surface as a canvas. They brought cans of spray paint and began to design on its surface.
This inspired still other Centralia PA visitors to test their artistic skills. No one knows for sure exactly when the graffiti began on the road, but it appears to have accelerated sometime after 2007. This may have had to do with the film Silent Hill coming out the year before.
What’s certain is that by 2010, a significant portion of old Route 61 was covered with graffiti images. The paintings range from the vulgar and profane to the thought provoking and even beautiful.
Today the road is popularly known as Centralia’s Graffiti Highway. During a typical visit, at least a few individuals can be spotted placing their own marks on it’s surface.
The Graffiti Highway is another piece of mine fire’s legacy that makes the town of Centralia Pennsylvania such an interesting place to visit.