The term “highway” may conjure images of an endless, unchanging road, dotted by the same fast food restaurants and gas stations every few miles.But just as automakers have made endless variations of vehicles, road builders have come up with a lot of ways to get from here to there.
These eleven highways from all over the world are by turns high speed, beautiful, enormous, and deadly, and they are all worth a drive.
First proposed in 1923, the Pan American Highway is the world's longest highway system, stretching over roughly 16,000 miles.
Drivers who take on the entire route cross through 16 countries, including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, and Peru.
Highway 401, also known as the Macdonald--Cartier Freeway, is the busiest highway in North America. 420,000 vehicles drive on its 500 miles every day.
Since its completion in the 1960s, the highway has served drivers in the southern, central and eastern parts of Ontario, Canada.
Known as the fastest highway in the world, the German autobahns are motorways only for cars. In fact, bicycles, mopeds, pedestrians or any means of transportation unable to go faster than 38 mph, are prohibited from entering.
The nationally coordinated motorway for Germany, Bundesautobahn (BAB) translates to the federal way for cars. Although 52 per cent of the BAB doesn't have a speed limit,a top speed of 81 mph is recommended.
Due to the high speeds of most of the vehicles travelling on the autobahn, it is illegal to stop unnecessarily on the motorway -- even if you run out of fuel.
Winding through the mountains of Norway, the Trollstigen, or Troll's Path, is a popular tourist attraction for the views it affords of local waterfalls and the bridges that cross the rivers that feed them.
The road opened in 1936 after eight years of construction, and is closed between October and May, when winter weather makes it impassable.
In China's Taihang mountains, there is a 4,000-feet long road called the Guoliang Tunnel that was built by the villagers themselves.
In 1972, 13 villagers began the project to carve a road along the side of a mountain in order to link their village to the outside world. On May 1, 1977, the road was opened for travellers.
Boston's Big Dig was estimated to cost $2.8 billion in 1985 and soared to $14.8 billion, making it the most expensive highway project ever undertaken in history.
Beginning in 1991, construction for the Big Dig led to the fatal injuries of four workers and the death of a motorist, from the collapse of a concrete panel.
The expressway system was finally completed in 2007.
Barely 10 feet wide, Bolivia's Yungas Road kills an estimated 200 to 300 travellers each year, even though it's shorter than 50 miles long.
Built by Paraguayan prisoners of war in the 1930s, the road leads from the city of La Paz to the Yungas region. It was deemed the most dangerous road in the world by the Inter American Development Bank in 1995.
In 1963, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to construct a road that would mutually benefit the two countries. In 1986, the Karakoram Highway officially opened to travellers and connected China with central Asian countries.
The highway runs 500 miles and connects the Xinjiang region of China with Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.
Built in 1977 to connect the Chinese regions of Tuen Mon and Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong's Tuen Mun Road is known for its high volume of accidents, and drivers place the blame on an usual suspect.
Some believe the Tuen Mun Road is haunted by the ghosts of those who have been killed while travelling it; according the local lore, they appear in the middle of traffic, sending cars veering out of control.
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