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Highway


A highway is any public road or other public way on land. It is used for major roads, but also includes other public roads and public tracks: It is not an equivalent term to controlled-access highway, or a translation for autobahn, autoroute, etc.

In North American and Australian English, major roads such as controlled-access highways or arterial roads are often state highways (Canada: provincial highways). Other roads may be designated "county highways" in the US and Ontario. These classifications refer to the level of government (state, provincial, county) that maintains the roadway.

In British English, "highway" is primarily a legal term. Everyday use normally implies roads, while the legal use covers any route or path with a public right of access, including footpaths etc.

The term has led to several related derived terms, including highway system, highway code, highway patrol and highwayman.

The term highway exists in distinction to "waterway".

Major highways are often named and numbered by the governments that typically develop and maintain them. Australia's Highway 1 is the longest national highway in the world at over 14,500 km or 9,000 mi and runs almost the entire way around the continent. China has the world's largest network of highways followed closely by the United States of America. Some highways, like the Pan-American Highway or the European routes, span multiple countries. Some major highway routes include ferry services, such as U.S. Route 10, which crosses Lake Michigan.


Country Highway Bus lanes (km) Section
Australia M2 Hills Motorway Abbott Road–Beecroft Road (Sydney)
India National Highway (India) 19 30 lanes Road

(Mumbai)

Canada Don Valley Parkway 0.458 shoulder converted as bypass lane from Lawrence Avenue East to York Mills Road
Canada Ontario Highway 417 7 Eagleson Road–Ontario Highway 417 (Ottawa)
Canada Ontario Highway 403 6 Mavis Road–Winston Churchill Boulevard (Mississauga)
Hong Kong Tuen Mun Road
South Korea Gyeongbu Expressway 137.4 Hannam IC (Seoul) ~ Sintanjin IC (Daejeon)
Netherlands A1 motorway (Netherlands) End of A6-Vechtbrug (Muiden)
District Highway Section
Tuen Mun HK Route9.svg Tuen Mun Road So Kwun Wat to Sham Tseng
Sha Tin HK Route1.svg Lion Rock Tunnel The entry of the tunnel

Longest international highway
The Pan-American Highway, which connects many countries in the Americas, is nearly 25,000 kilometres (15,534 mi) long as of 2005. The Pan-American Highway is discontinuous because there is a significant gap in it in southeastern Panama, where the rainfall is immense and the terrain is entirely unsuitable for highway construction.
Longest national highway (point to point)
Trans-Canada Highway has two routes, with the northern Route spanning 7,821 km (4,860 mi) long as of 2006 alone, and over 10,700 km long including the southern portion. The T.C.H. runs east-west across southern Canada, the populated portion of the country, and it connects many of the major urban centres along its route crossing almost all of the provinces, and reaching almost all of the capital cities. The T.C.H. begins on the east coast in Newfoundland, traverses that island, and crosses to the mainland by ferry. It reaches most of the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada, and a side route using ferries traverses the province of Prince Edward Island. After crossing the two most populous provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the T.C.H. continues westward across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. After reaching Vancouver, B.C., on the Pacific Coast, there is a ferry route west to Vancouver Island and the provincial capital city of Victoria, B.C.
Longest national highway (circuit)
Australia's Highway 1 at over 20 Mm (12,000 mi). It runs almost the entire way around the continent's coastline. With the exception of the Federal Capital of Canberra, which is far inland, Highway 1 links all of Australia's capital cities, although Brisbane and Darwin are not directly connected, but rather are bypassed short distances away. Also, there is a ferry connection to the island state of Tasmania, and then a stretch of Highway 1 that links the major towns and cities of Tasmania, including Launceston and Hobart (this state’s capital city).
Largest national highway system
The United States of America has approximately 6.43 gigametres (3,995,417 mi) of highway within its borders as of 2008.
Busiest highway
Highway 401 in Ontario, Canada, has volumes surpassing an average of 500,000 vehicles per day in some sections of Toronto as of 2006.
Widest highway (maximum number of lanes)
The Katy Freeway (part of Interstate 10) in Houston, Texas, has a total of 26 lanes in some sections as of 2007. However, they are divided up into general use/ frontage roads/ HOV lanes, restricting the traverse traffic flow.
Widest highway (maximum number of through lanes)
Interstate 5 along a two-mile-long (3.2 km) section between Interstate 805 and California State Route 56 in San Diego, California, which was completed in April 2007, is 22 lanes wide.
Highest international highway
The Karakoram Highway, between Pakistan and China, is at an altitude of 4,693 metres (15,397 ft).
  • "any way (other than a waterway) over which there is a public right of passage (by whatever means [and whether subject to a toll or not]) and includes the road’s verge, and any bridge (whether permanent or temporary) over which, or tunnel through which, the road passes; and any reference to a road includes a part thereof; "
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Wikipedia

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