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Types of roads

What is the road?

Before finding the types of roads it’s important to know what a roadway is. A road is a general way on land, a space between two places that allow people to travel between one place and another.

Generally, roads have been improved or surfaced in some way that allows for easier travel. As a result, roads have evolved throughout history.

Different roads have different purposes. Therefore they are made from other materials with varying characteristics, and Different types of transport vehicles use them. Below are the types of roadways.

Purpose of Road Classification

A road network consists of different types of roads, each of which performs a particular service in facilitating vehicular travel between two points of trip origin and providing access to the destination and property. Hence, road classification of roads into systems according to the degree of service and types they are provided to the public facilities.

Factors Affecting Classification of Roads

Roads of Many different classification systems have been introduced and used for particular purposes. The basis for some of these classifications of the road:

  1. Geometric elements
  2. Location
  3. Traffic volume
  4. Legal control
  5. Surface type
  6. Function

Different types of Roads

types of roads

Classification is based on accessibility and Speed.


Freeways are also known as access-controlled motorways. 

Motorways are wide roads designed for fast-moving vehicles to travel long distances at higher speeds and take less time.

types of roads


Expressways are the same way one of the superior types of access-controlled roadways where ramps fully control the exit and entry of the expressway. 


Highways connect cities to cities or state to state or villages to cities, or the roads that connect the state capital to the national capital are called highways.


Arterials are the roads constructed inside the town or city for the movement’s high-volume vehicle.

Local Streets:

Local streets don’t carry a large volume of traffic like a cell. The speed limit is restricted to 30 to 50km/hr in a local street.

Collector Roads:

Collector roads deliver and collect the traffic to and from arterials and local streets. The speed limit usually ranges between 33-55kilometer/hour.

Classification based on Construction materials road.

Earthen Roads: 

The roads laid with the available soil or clay at the site are called Earthen Roads.

Gravel roads:

gravel roads are also better than Earthen roads, and Gravel roads are the cheapest among all the types of roads. 

Kankar Roads: 

This type of road is only used in India because Kankar is derived from India, which means an Impure form of Limestone.

Water-bound Macadam Roads:

water bound macadam road is also called WBM a road. The aggregate (crushed stone) is laid as a base course.

Bituminous roads:

The bituminous is a black adhesive and viscous material produced during the distillation of petrol. 

Concrete roads: 

The roads which are laid using the topping of cement concrete material are called concrete roads.

Classification based on Topography

Hilly roads:

They are constructed in hilly areas where one can see frequent steep turns, downs, and ups.

types of roads

Plain area roads:

plain area roads, constructed on the plain area where there are very few turns, downs, and ups are plain area roads. 

Classification based on Economy

Low-cost roads: 

They can be constructed with the available local soil or locally available materials, and less capital is called low-cost roads.

Medium cost roads: 

The road funds required for constructing medium-cost roads are better than low-cost ones.

High-cost roads: 

high-cost roads require huge capital to construct. National highways and State Highways are the best examples of high-cost roads.

Classification based on traffic volume

Low traffic roads:

The roads carrying less than five hundred vehicles on an average per day are called low traffic roads. 

Medium traffic roads:

 The roads that carry on an average of six hundred to twelve hundred vehicles per day are called Medium traffic roads.

High traffic roads: 

High traffic roads which carry more than two thousand vehicles per day are called High traffic roads.

Classification based on traffic type

Cycle tracks:

The tracks which are constructed especially for bicycles and bikes are called Cycle tracks.

Pedestrian ways:

Pedestrian ways constructed specifically for the pedestrians where any vehicles are strictly restricted are called pedestrian ways.


Motorways are expressways that are constructed for a free flow of very speed vehicle traffic.

Nagpur road Classification

National highways:

These ways run throughout the breadth and length of the country. 

State highways:

These ways connect the cities of the state to the state capital city.

District roads: 

These types of roads give access to connect to the State highways.

Village roads or Rural roads:

These roads are the roads in villages.

Classification based on usage

All-Weather roads: 

all-weather roads that can be accessed throughout the year are called All-weather roads. 

Fair-weather roads:

Fairweather roads that are accessed only during fair atmospheric conditions are called Fairweather roads.

Classification based on Carriageway

Paved Roads : 

the paved roads are designed with a hard pavement course such as 

Bituminous, WBM, and Cement concrete is called Paved roads.

Unpaved roads: 

The unpaved roads are not designed with hard pavement such as Murram. Kankar and Earthen are called unpaved roads. 

Classification based on Rigidity

Flexible pavement Roads:

These types of roads have four layers. The outer surface layer is topped with bituminous material called a wearing course or topping and an underlying subgrade course, sub-base, and Base.

Rigid roads:

These are the roads with only three layers (Subgrade course and Surface course, Base) that make the road non-flexible. 

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