Highways are important elements in our lives, both for those involved in their construction or anyone else for that matter. All of us need to travel in highways from time to time and they make our lives lot easier. This website not only aspires to provide some useful technical information about practical construction, but also strives for giving readers short & sweet breaks by presenting some interesting information on diverse areas of civil engineering or construction.
So, don’t forget to take those little breaks from time to time in between serious reads. Take few minutes off to relax and browse through some really interesting facts related to your study or profession. Apart from giving one a break, these can as well be pretty helpful in enriching one’s general knowledge. Isn’t that a win-win suggestion? Even if you have nothing to do with civil engineering or construction you are still welcome here. Some of the most interesting reads in here are for just about anyone and everyone.
A part of the same endeavour, this post is all about few amazing highways around the world that lie in the extremes of aspects like length, width, cost etc. Do read on.
World’s most expensive highway project: The Big Dig highway in Boston, USA is the most expensive highway in the world. Completed in the end of 2007, this highway is a combination of tunnels and bridges all involving quite complex & heavy construction. While it’s initial estimate was $2.8 billion in 1985, by the time it was completed, a whopping $14.6 billion was spent making it the most expensive of all the highways built till date.
World’s longest highway: Pan American highway, also called as Panamericana, is said to be the longest motorable road in the world. Running across 23 countries from Alaska in USA to Ushuaia in Argentina, this seemingly endless highway is a network of roads totalling almost 48000 km. The portion of it lying in North America is about 26000 km in length.
World’s longest National Highway (NH): Highway 1 in Australia is the longest NH in the world. It is a network of highways along the entire outer periphery of the continent measuring 14500 km.
World’s shortest highway: How short could be a highway – 50km …. 25km …. or 10km? When it comes to the length of any highway, the figures that possibly come to one’s mind would be at least a hundred or a couple of hundred km or so. Well, one won’t possibly imagine a highway 8 or 10 km in length. If that’s too short a length for a highway then take a note of this one. The Chandler highway in Melbourne, Australia is just 1.4 km in length qualifying it for the title of “World’s shortest highway”. The highway spans across the Yarra river joining Heidelberg Road and Princess Street in a suburban area in Melbourne. Yes, that’s how short it is.
World’s widest highway: A portion of the Interstate 10 highway in US, known as the Katy Freeway (Houston, Texas), is regarded as the widest highway in the world. Katy Freeway has a minimum of 16 lanes and in some stretches the number goes up to as high as 26. This 26-lane portion is what makes it eligible for the crown.
World’s busiest highway: The King’s Highway 401 or simply Highway 401 in Canada holds the distinction of being the busiest highway in the world. This 818 km long highway, officially known as the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway, runs from Windsor to Quebec. The portion of the road passing through Toronto means some real business and records vehicular traffic as high as 0.5 million vehicles per day in certain sectors, bestowing it the crown.
World’s highest highway: The Karakoram highway joining Hasan Abdal in Pakistan and Xinjiang in China is regarded as the highest paved international road in the world. At an altitude of 4693m from the M.S.L., this 1300 km long engineering feat across the Karakoram mountains is sometimes called as the ninth wonder of the world.
Highways are designed for certain speed limits and those maximum allowable speeds are usually displayed alongside them. But, there are some rare highways in the world where there are no speed limits. The Autobahn highway network in Germany has no official max speed limit even though there is an advisory limit of 130 km/hr. In other words, out there you are free to ignore the advice and press the accelerator of your vehicle for a speed of 200 kmph or more. It’s up to you as nobody is going to book you for speed related offences as long as you perform safely.
People sometimes do that in those roads of very high quality. Yet, when one drives at 150 or 200 plus in public roads, one takes things in one’s own hand, almost entirely, unless one is a master of driving skills. At those speeds there are usually no second chances. Things sometimes go wrong in the German Autobahns too and those are usually pretty nasty. Apart from such rare incidents, German Autobahns are regarded as traveller’s (driver’s) paradise because of their top-notch design and quality, speed thrills they have to offer and scenic splendours surrounding them.
Note: A lot more details about all of the abovementioned roads are available in various articles in Wikipedia.