The longest road in the world is the Pan-American Highway in the Americas which is 30 000 kilometres long. Its length is not a surprise bearing in mind that roads are the primary mode of transportation.
Moreover, they are one of the earliest and oldest transportation infrastructures, dating back to as early as 10,000 BC. The first stone-paved roads were reportedly constructed and used between 2600 to 2200 BC in Egypt.
To date, there are millions of kilometres of roads of varying uses across the world. In this article, we take a glimpse of the top 5 longest roads in the world. The roads in this list are highways and they are mostly used for interstate, inter-country or even inter-continental transportation.
Also Read: Longest railway tunnels in the world
Top 5 longest roads in the world
- Pan-American Highway in the Americas (length 30 000 kilometres)
- Asian Highway 1 in Eurasia (length 20557 kilometres)
- Highway 1 in Australia (length 14 500 kilometres)
- Asian Highway 2 in Asia (length 13 177 kilometres)
- The Trans-Siberian Highway in Russia (11 000 kilometres)
1. The Pan-American Highway
The Pan-American Highway, a network of roads stretching across the Americas, is the longest road in the world. It is approximately 30,000 kilometres in total length extending from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in North America, to the southernmost region of South America
Except for an approximately 106 km section at the border between northwest Colombia and southeast Panama called the Darién Gap, the Pan-American Highway links almost all of the Pacific coastal countries of the Americas. The system is known as the “Inter-American Highway” in the West and north of the Darién Gaph through Central America and Mexico, from where it splits into several spurs leading to the Mexico–United States border.
In total, the Pan-American Highway, the construction of which began back in the 1930s, traverses about 18 countries.
2. Asian Highway 1
Abbreviated as AH1, this is the longest and the main route of the 141,000-kilometer Asian Highway Network that spans 32 Asian countries, with linkages to Europe.
The 20,557 kilometres Asian Highway 1 starts from Tokyo, Japan. It cuts through the Korean Peninsula, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey.
At Kapikule, the border between Turkey and Bulgaria west of Istanbul the highway joins end-on with European route E80, running all the way to Lisbon, Portugal.
3. Highway 1
Highway 1 is a route around Australia, from the South Australian border near Eucla to the Northern Territory. It makes a giant loop around the country running through just about every habitable area of Australia and all of the major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. At a total length of approximately 14,500 kilometres, this is the longest national highway in the world, surpassing the Trans-Siberian Highway which is about 11,000 long.
Noteworthy, Highway 1 was constructed or rather created as part of the National Route Numbering system, which was adopted back in 1955. It was compiled from an existing network of state and local roads and tracks. Reportedly, it takes most travellers about three months to complete the road.
4. Asian Highway 2
This is the second route of the aforementioned Asian Highway Network in Asia that is also known own as the Great Asian Highway. The construction of the latter was initiated back in 1959.
Asian Highway 2 (AH2) runs approximately 13,107 kilometres from Denpasar in Indonesia to Merak, and Singapore to Khosravi in Iran. The route is connected to M10 of the Arab Mashreq International Road Network.
5. The Trans-Siberian Highway
With Trans-Siberian Highway as its unofficial name, this is a network of federal highways that span the width of Russia, from the Baltic Sea of the Atlantic Ocean to the Sea of Japan.
It is the 6th route (AH6) of the Asian Highway Network and it stretches over a distance of 11,000 kilometres connecting St. Petersburg and Vladivostok. The route overlaps in places with European route E30 over a distance of about 190 km kilometres. One of its segments i.e. Chelyabinsk to Novosibirsk can be passed by the R402 highway through Ishim inside the Russian territory or by the R254 highway via the neighbouring country of Kazakhstan.
Trans-Siberian Highway or Asian Highway 6 became fully paved back in August 2015.