Difference Between Highway and Freeway


Main Difference

A highway is a big public road that is most probably used for heavy traffic. A highway is linked with other local public roads as well. On the other hand, a freeway is a kind of highway that is totally specified for the heavy traffic and fast speed vehicles and does not possess any interlink path for the lock roads and tracks. All the freeways are highways, but all the highways are not freeways in themselves. Freeway is also known as controlled access highway. It is sometimes also referred as an express highway. The main difference between both is that freeway is dedicated for fast speed vehicles with no interlink and connection of other local paths merging into it, whereas the highway is a path for heavy traffic that possesses path links of local routes and tracks.

Comparison Chart

General highways have specific speed limits based on the surrounding area.Most of the freeways are free of any speed limit.
Highways have interceptions and links for other small routes and paths for crossing.Freeway does not have any link or interception for crossing. Overpasses and underpasses are used for that purpose.
Traffic Signals
Traffic signals can be found on highways as per area and region.There are not traffic signals or any pedestrian crossing on freeways.

What is Highway?

A highway is referred as a pathway or route specially developed and designed for the heavy traffic. Highways are built largely to avoid traffic jam and increase the efficacy rate of transportation and traveling. A highway is a large road which is considered as parent or major road to the other local paths and road. A highway may have intersections in it. A highway can also possess some traffic signals and turnarounds. A high being a major path for heavy traffic, it is also linked with the traffic that is coming from the other smaller routes and local paths. Local routes and paths are linked with a highway as intersections to the highway. These small routes and short paths at specific intervals merge and open up to the highway so that the traffic can be dispersed and the traveler can choose their specific path. Similarly, many short routes and small roads also emerge from the highway. The local paths are interlinked with highways for the convenience of the travelers and public. The highway is a general term used for major roads that possess heavy run of traffic on them. As per their use and type highways are categorized in various kinds and are given different names based on the geographical region and area they are present. General sort of highways has a specific speed limit which keeps on increasing and decreasing due to the area surrounding. The highway can be in the populated and public traffic area on which there could be a pedestrian crossing as well along with the traffic signals.


What is Freeway?

All the freeway are the highways in basic. A freeway is a kind of highway that is specially designed for heavy traffic and is dedicated to the fast speed vehicles. Freeways are also known as Controlled-access highways. In some regions of the globe, these freeways are often termed as Express highway or Motorway as well. Freeway is a highway in itself that is dedicated for fast moving vehicles and heavy traffic. A freeway does not have any intersection in it. There is no link to other local paths and smaller routes with the freeway. As its name itself clarify its use that it is a route that is dedicated for free stream less movement and traveling. A freeway does not have any intersection, traffic signals, and pedestrian cross. They are specially designed for long routes, so that far destinations can be reached in minimum time frame with maximum traveling speed. It is a kind of dedicated railway path, but it is a road in nature. As it has no intersection and link of other roads in it, a freeway is much easier to travel and that too with speed. If there is necessary for the pedestrian crossing or other routes to be passed in between, they are followed by underpasses and overpasses. Underpasses and overpasses are the routes that either pass under the freeway route or above the freeway route without causing any interruption in the freeway path. A general highway in a specific geographical region can turn into a freeway route leaving behind all the intersections and links of local routes. Freeways were first developed in the mid of 20th century. Italy is the world’s first country to develop and start a controlled access highway. It was started in 1924 that connects the city of Milan to Varese. Later in Germany built their first 30km long freeway route without any speed limits between the city of Bonn and Cologne. After Second World War the trend was viral and spread all around the globe.

Highway vs. Freeway

  • The highway is a special traffic path made for heavy traffic.
  • Freeway is a kind of highway that does not have any interceptions and link in it.
  • The highway can possess intersection, links, traffic signals, in them.
  • Freeways have no speed limit and are specially designed for fast vehicles.
  • Highways are linked with other smaller routes and local paths through interception.
  • Freeway does not have any link to them and is free of traffic signals and crosses.
  • Underpasses and overpasses are used for crossing the freeway path.
  • A general high has crossing routes in it known as interceptions.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss