Difference between Highway and Freeway (With Table)

There are many vehicles on the road and this has led to various problems such as traffic jams, delays, increased air and sound pollution making traveling difficult for many people.

Due to that, it has led to the construction of highways and freeways to ease congestion on the roads to enable people to enjoy their road transport.

However, many people have used the words interchangeably to refer to the ways. Both were constructed to reduce traffic jams on the roads.

So, what is the main difference between highways and freeways? A highway is a road that is built by the government and placed higher to the neighboring topography and it connects two cities and is referred to as a public road while a freeway is a road which is a limited and controlled access road that connects the city outskirts and rural areas.

For more information about the difference between highways and freeways in tabular form, continue reading the article. You will also get to learn of the similarities between the two.

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Comparison Table (Highway vs Freeway)

Basic TermsHighwayFreeway
DefinitionIt is a public road that connects two cities.It is a limited and controlled access road that connects city outskirts and rural areas.
Intersection pointThey have limited intersection points.They do not have intersection points.
Access pointsThrough specific intersection points or ramps.It is only through the ramp.
Allowed speed limitIt should be between 60kph to 80kph.It goes at 80kph.
Where foundUrban or metro cities.Outskirts and rural parts of the city.
ConnectionIt connects two cities.It exists within the city and connects to rural areas.
TollsThey have tolls.They do not have tolls.
LanesIt has between two to eight lanes.They have at least four lanes, two in each direction.
GeneralizationNot all highways are freeways.All freeways are highways.
Traffic signals and road signsThey have traffic signals and road signs.They do not have traffic signals and road signs.
Emergency lanesThey do not have emergency lanes.They have emergency lanes on both sides.

What is Highway?

A highway is a road that connects two cities and is placed at a high topography. It is also referred to as a public road.

The vehicles can get into a highway either through a ramp or through intersections created at some distance along the length.

They are created and operated by the state of government and all the maintenance concerning the upgrading of the road is done by the government.

They serve as a backbone of the country’s economic growth and development as they open the entryways for inaccessible society.

Tolls are constructed on the highways and vehicles use them for specific speed limits which are set between 60kph to 80kph to reduce accidents on the roads.

Highways have between two to eight lanes but they do not have emergency lanes which makes it difficult for vehicles to control themselves once on the highway.

What is Freeway?

Freeways are roads that are limited and have controlled access and they connect city outskirts and rural areas.

They are part of the highway but they do not have intersections like on highways. Traffic on freeways moves faster as compared to highways as they are allowed to move at 80kph.

They have two to four lanes in each direction with a barrier between them. They are not meant for other means of transport such as bicycles, carts, and hacks.

They are operated by the central government and anything concerning its repair and maintenance is done by the government.

They are accessed through on-ramps or off-ramps as intersections do not exist on them. They do not have traffic signals and road signs but they have emergency lanes.

Main Difference between Highway and Freeway

  1. Highways connect two cities while freeways connect city outskirts and rural areas.
  2. Highways have intersections and ramps while freeways only have ramps.
  3. Vehicles on highways are allowed to move at a speed of between 60 to 80kph while on freeways they are allowed to move at a speed of 80kph.
  4. Highways do not have emergency lanes while freeways have emergency lanes.
  5. There are traffic signals and road signs on highways but there are not found on freeways.
  6. All highways are not freeways but all freeways are highways.
  7. Highways have tolls while freeways do not have tolls.
  8. Highways are found in urban or metro cities while freeways are found in city outskirts and rural areas.
  9. Highways have two to eight lanes while freeways have at least four lanes, two in each direction.

Similarities between Highway and Freeway

  1. Both are constructed and maintained by the government.
  2. Both are used to ease congestion.
  3. Both allow vehicles to move at a speed of 80kph.

Conclusion

Highways and freeways are both of great importance as they ease congestion on the roads making the travelers get to their destination at the required time.

However, the two are different from each other. The main difference between highways and freeways is that highways connect two cities and they are known as public roads while freeways connect city outskirts and rural areas.

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