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What is the difference between National highway and expressway?

We all travel from one place to another through various means like air, water, railway, roads, etc. But have you wondered why some roads are called Expressways, National Highways, State Highways, and other districts and other roads? Do you know the difference between Expressways and National Highways? If your answer is no then don’t worry we will be discussing National Highway and expressways in this article.

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What is National Highway?

The National highways in India are a network of trunk roads owned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. National highways have flyover access or some controlled access, where entrance and exit are through the side of the flyover, at each intersection of highways flyovers are provided to bypass the city/town/village traffic and these highways are designed for a speed of 100 km/hr. Some national highways have interchanges in between but do not have total controlled access throughout the highways. It is constructed and managed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), and the public works departments (PWD) of state governments.

What is Expressway?

Expressways are the highest class of roads in India. As of March 2023, India has a total length of 4067.97 km (2,527.719 mi) of expressways. These are controlled-access highways where entrance and exits are controlled by the use of ramps or interchange or trumpets that are incorporated into the design of the expressway and designed for a maximum speed of 120 km/hr. Expressways follow standards set by the Indian Roads Congress and the Bureau of Indian Standards.

What is the difference between a National Highway and Expressway?

Access control is the major difference between a National Highway and an Expressway.

  • In expressways, roads are not multiples, controlled access is there where the vehicle can enter through a limited place and no further or other road merges or crosses the expressway anywhere. Due to this, the possibility of accidents is also less. But in the case of highways, multiple roads are there which merge with or cross the highways at many places.
  • Highway is a generic term given to roadways that connect important cities; towns etc., and usually have 4 lanes to provide high-speed traffic. But an expressway is a high-speed road with little access and consists of several facilities like access ramps, lane dividers, etc.

So, now you may have understood that Expressways are high-speed road with several facilities and little access but highway consists of multiple roads and usually have 4 lanes.

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