A road provides a way to get from one place to another via land. In the
United States alone, there are approximately 4,071,000 miles of roads.
While a road could be made of dirt or gravel, the majority of the 1,394,000
miles of roads already in existence have a paved surface. Humans began
paving roads around the world to improve travel, whether by foot, bicycle,
or motor vehicle.
A road, depending on where you live, what its purpose is, or even who
funds it may also be referred to as a carriageway, parkway, avenue, street,
freeway, tollway, interstate, or highway. In addition, roads can be primary,
secondary, or tertiary local roads.
The US highway network is made up of interstate highways, US Routes,
and state highways. The Interstate 90 (I-90) is the longest interstate
highway in the country connecting Seattle, Washington with Boston,
Route 20 (US 20), an east-west highway measuring 3365 miles in length, is
the longest single road in the country and one of the world’s longest
Just to the north of the US is the Trans-Canada Highway which travels all
ten of Canada’s provinces and stretches 4,860 miles (7,821 km) from the
Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
The longest road in the world is the Pan-American highway at 48,000 km
(29,826 miles), linking almost all nations in North and South America.
But there is more to a road than simply a way to get from one place to
another. In addition to designing, engineering, and building highway
infrastructure, we also foresee the operation and maintenance of those
roadways. Of course, there is the maintenance of the roadway, but we also
look over the landscape, lighting, and rest areas.
There are also the aspects of roads you might not be as familiar with which
fall under the category of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). This
includes traffic management, CCTV cameras, ramp access control
systems, and alert systems among others, as getting to your destination safely is much more important than just getting there.