Types of Roads: A Comprehensive Guide to Road Classification

A Comprehensive Guide to Road Classification

Roads play a significant role in facilitating transportation for people and goods. Roads have evolved throughout history and have different purposes. Different types of roads are made from different materials and have varying characteristics. Road classification is done into systems according to the degree of service and types provided to the public facilities. Many classification systems are used for particular purposes based on factors such as geometric elements, location, traffic volume, legal control, surface type, and function.

The following are the different types of roads based on various classifications:

  1. Classification based on accessibility and speed:

Type of Road Description
Freeways Access-controlled motorways designed for fast-moving vehicles to travel long distances at higher speeds
Expressways Access-controlled roadways with fully controlled exit and entry ramps
Highways Roads connecting cities to cities or state to state, or villages to cities, or roads connecting the state capital to the national capital
Arterials Roads constructed inside the town or city for the movement of high-volume vehicles
Local Streets Roads that don't carry a large volume of traffic and have a speed limit of 30 to 50km/hr
Collector Roads Roads that deliver and collect traffic to and from arterials and local streets. The speed limit usually ranges between 33-55 kilometers/hour.
  1. Classification based on construction materials road:

Type of Road Description
Earthen Roads Roads laid with the available soil or clay at the site
Gravel Roads Roads constructed with gravel, which are the cheapest among all the types of roads
Kankar Roads Roads constructed with Kankar, an impure form of limestone only used in India
Water-Bound Macadam Roads Roads constructed with crushed stone laid as a base course
Bituminous Roads Roads constructed with bituminous, a black adhesive and viscous material produced during the distillation of petrol
Concrete Roads Roads laid using the topping of cement concrete material
  1. Classification based on topography:

Type of Road Description
Hilly Roads Roads constructed in hilly areas where there are frequent steep turns, downs, and ups
Plain Area Roads Roads are constructed on the plain area with very few turns, downs, and ups.
  1. Classification based on the economy:

Type of Road Description
Low-Cost Roads Roads constructed with the available local soil or locally available materials and less capital
Medium Cost Roads Roads constructed with better funds than low-cost roads
High-Cost Roads Constructing roads requires huge capital, such as National highways and State Highways.
  1. Classification based on traffic volume:

Type of Road Description
Low Traffic Roads Roads carrying less than 500 vehicles on an average per day
Medium Traffic Roads Roads that carry on an average of 600 to 1200 vehicles per day
High Traffic Roads Roads carrying more than 2000 vehicles per day.
  1. Classification based on traffic type:

Type of Road Description
Cycle Tracks Tracks constructed specifically for bicycles and bikes
Pedestrian Ways Ways constructed specifically for pedestrians where vehicles are strictly restricted
Motorways Expressways are constructed for the free flow of very speedy vehicle traffic.
  1. Nagpur road classification:

Type of Road Description
National Highways Roads running throughout the breadth and length of the country
State Highways Roads connecting the cities of the state to the state capital city
District Roads Roads connecting district headquarters to other district headquarters or national highways.
  1. Classification based on usage:

Type of Road Description
Private Roads Roads


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