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Classification of Roads Highways

Road classification system groups roads a limited number of clearly defined


Purpose of Road Classification

A road network is composed of various types of roads, each of which

performs a particular service in facilitating vehicular travel between points of
trip origin and destination, and in providing access to property. Road
classification is the orderly grouping of roads into systems according to the
type and degree of service they provide to the public.

Consideration for classification - Factors affecting

classification of roads

Many different classification systems have been introduced and used for
particular purpose. The basis for some of these classifications is:

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

Seldom do these classification system differentiate between roads on basis of service which is is
essential for road designer.

Design classification system

This system separates roads;

On the basis of differences in traffic service and land services.

On the basis of geometric design features.

The eight primary divisions in this system are:

Rural Urban
Local Local
Collector Collector
Arterial Arterial
Freeway Freeway
1. Rural and urban:
It refers to predominant characteristic of the adjacent land use and not only to jurisdictions
boundaries or features of typical cross-section.

2. Geometric design:

For geometric design purposes it is essential to divide each of these divisions. For a given road
geometric design elements are affected by traffic volume. However it is significant for classification
only in determining the number of lanes and whether road should be divided or undivided.

3. Other variables

Affecting geometric design are;

1. The type of terrain road passes through

2. Financial resources available
3. Population density

Development characteristics of the land surrounding, the road and the travel habits
of the local population.

4. Design speed is the measure of quality and is therefore the final sub division.