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Two-lane expressway

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Title: Two-lane expressway  
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Subject: Malaysian Expressway System, Senai–Desaru Expressway, Bennington, Vermont, Glossary of road transport terms, 2-lane expressway
Collection: Stop-Gaps, Two-Lane Expressways, Types of Roads
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Two-lane expressway

The Plimoth Plantation Highway in Massachusetts is a two-lane expressway

A two-lane expressway or two-lane freeway is an expressway or freeway with only one lane in each direction, and usually no median barrier. It may be built that way because of constraints, or may be intended for expansion once traffic volumes rise. The term super two is often used by roadgeeks for this type of road, but traffic engineers use that term for a high-quality surface road. Most of these roads are not tolled.

A somewhat related concept is a four-lane undivided expressway. This is much rarer; an example is some sections of U.S. Route 101 in northern California.


  • Justification 1
  • List of two-lane freeways 2
    • Australia 2.1
    • New Zealand 2.2
    • Europe 2.3
    • United Kingdom 2.4
    • South Africa 2.5
    • South Korea 2.6
    • Indonesia 2.7
    • Japan 2.8
    • Malaysia 2.9
    • Philippines 2.10
    • Canada 2.11
    • Mexico 2.12
    • United States 2.13
      • Arkansas 2.13.1
      • California 2.13.2
      • Connecticut 2.13.3
      • Florida 2.13.4
      • Iowa 2.13.5
      • Kansas 2.13.6
      • Kentucky 2.13.7
      • Louisiana 2.13.8
      • Maine 2.13.9
      • Maryland 2.13.10
      • Massachusetts 2.13.11
      • Michigan 2.13.12
      • Minnesota 2.13.13
      • Missouri 2.13.14
      • New Hampshire 2.13.15
      • New Jersey 2.13.16
      • New York 2.13.17
      • North Carolina 2.13.18
      • Ohio 2.13.19
      • Oklahoma 2.13.20
      • Oregon 2.13.21
      • Pennsylvania 2.13.22
      • Rhode Island 2.13.23
      • Texas 2.13.24
      • Utah 2.13.25
      • Vermont 2.13.26
      • Virginia 2.13.27
      • Washington 2.13.28
      • West Virginia 2.13.29
      • Wisconsin 2.13.30
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4


Two-lane freeways are usually built as a temporary solution due to lack of funds, as an environmental compromise or as a way to overcome problems constrained from highway reconstruction when there are four lanes or more. If the road is widened, the existing road is typically allocated to traffic going in one direction, and the lanes for the other direction are built as a whole new roadbed adjacent to the existing one. When upgraded in this manner, the road becomes a typical freeway. Many two-lane freeways are built so that when the road is upgraded to a proper divided freeway, the existing overpasses and ramps do not need reconstruction.

A super-2 expressway is a high-speed surface road with at-grade intersections, depending on the common usage of the term expressway in the area. By this definition, Super-2s can be considered the first stage of project which is expected to become a full freeway, with the transportation authority owning the land necessary for the future adjacent carriageway. At-grade intersections exist but there is sufficient land to replace them with interchanges. In some US states, a super-2 expressway is simply referred to as a super-2, regardless of whether it is fully controlled-access or not. Highway 410 in Ontario was originally a super-2 before being upgraded to a full freeway. Similarly, most of Highway 102 in Nova Scotia was a super-2 for three decades before being upgraded. Many super-2 expressways are simply just short transitional segments between surface street and 4-lane divided freeways.

A super-4 expressway is a multi-lane divided highway with at-grade intersections, although the highway will become a full controlled-access freeway if the intersections are replaced with interchanges. A super-4 may have formerly been a super-2 that has been twinned, although such instances of super-4 intermediaries are rare as super-2s are often upgraded right away to full freeways. Highway 40 in Ontario is a super-4 expressway between Highway 402 and Wellington St., and from Indian Rd to Courtright. The remaining sections of Highway 40 are super-2 expressways. Other super-4 expressways include the Hanlon Parkway in Guelph and the Black Creek Drive in Toronto, both which have sufficient right of way to allow for interchanges and overpasses to replace the at-grade crossings.

When a super-2 expressway is converted to a 4-lane divided freeway, conversion artifacts such as double yellow lines, or broken yellow lines in passing zones are usually cleanly bestowed in favor of more consistent road marking for 4-lane divided expressways.

List of two-lane freeways


New Zealand

  • The Wellington Urban Motorway is three lanes undivided (two northbound, one southbound) through the Terrace Motorway Tunnel. A separate southbound tunnel was never built.
  • Christchurch
    • The Christchurch Northern Motorway is two lanes undivided between its northern terminus at Pineacres and the Lineside Road interchange. This reduces the number of lanes prior to the northern terminus, where the motorway merges onto a two-laned road.
    • In the southwestern part of the city prior to 2012 was the two-laned Christchurch Southern Motorway, between Barrington Street and Curletts Road. The road has since been duplicated to four lanes divided as part of the motorway's extension from Curletts Road to Halswell Junction Road.


  • In a few European countries (like Germany and Switzerland), many rural highways have been converted into two-lane freeways. However, most of these have been built with low overpasses wide enough to accommodate only 2 lanes, which indicates that there is no intent to widen them into freeways in the foreseeable future. In German this type of road is called an Autostrasse.
  • In Germany rural segments of the A 8 in the Saarland (between Saarlouis and the Luxembourg border), the A 60 from the exit for Prüm to the Belgian border, and the A 62 between the A 6 and the A 8, are two lanes (or, in the former two cases, 2 + 1 with an extra climbing lane). Unlike the Autostrassen previously mentioned, these segments are built to Autobahn standards but with only one carriageway; all of the overpasses, culverts and short bridges, cuttings and earthworks are wide enough for twin carriageways, and only some long bridges would need to be dualized for upgrading to a full 4- or 5-lane Autobahn.
  • In Croatia, the Istrian Y highway complex used to consist out of two-lane freeways, which were due to be upgraded to four-lane ones, should the traffic increase. The complex is currently classified as consisting of expressways and as such has a general speed limit of 110 km/h (68 mph), although a limit of 100 km/h (62 mph) tends to be more prevalent there. However, as the traffic increases came sooner than it was predicted, the status of Istrian Y was changed to semi-highway, as a widening to four or six lanes is already in progress.
  • Highway 19 in the Czech Republic is a 2-lane expressway between Highway 3 and Zahradka.
  • Some of the motorways in former German areas in Poland were originally two-lane expressways when built in the 1930s. This may be still the ling from Elblag to Kaliningrad.
  • In Sweden and Norway, a large amount of two-lane expressways were built in the period 1960-1990 (Sweden) and 1970-2000 (Norway). In addition, some have been built in Denmark. Only a few such roads have been built recently because there were many serious accidents. Many have been widened to four-lane expressways. Those remaining have, in Sweden, been converted to 2+1 roads with a barrier between the directions. In Norway and many other European countries the two-lane expressways are too narrow to convert to 2+1-road if they are not widened.

United Kingdom

  • The former A6144(M) in Manchester had one lane in each direction, although to Motorway standards. It has now been downgraded to an A road.
  • The A601(M) road in Lancashire is a two-lane motorway between its junction with the M6 and terminus at the B6254.
  • The Runcorn Spur Road in Runcorn is a 2-lane expressway with grade separations and at-grade intersections (partially motorway-like).

South Africa

Some sections of two lane freeway can be found on the N1 and the N2 highways.

South Korea

88 Olympic Expressway (Korea)

The 88 Olympic Expressway, Route 12, is a two-lane limited access tollway for 144 of its 183 kilometers, between exits 14 (Damyang) and 26 (East Goryeong). It is fully integrated into South Korea's ticketed tollway system. This section is to be widened to four lanes by 2015.


  • The part of Semarang Toll Road, the Jatingaleh-Krapyak section, is formerly a two-lane expressway, but recently that section is upgraded into 4 lane expressway.
  • The part of Belmera Toll Road from Amplas Interchange to southern terminus is formerly a two-lane expressway. But, an upgrade to the toll road into a 4 lane expressway has finished.


2-lane expressway in Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan

While most expressways in Japan are 4-lane divided expressways with median barriers, some expressways in rural areas are 2-lane expressways, such as some sections of the Hokkaidō Expressway. The 2-lane expressways in Japan are built in the same manner as the ordinary 4-lane expressways with grade-separated interchanges and full access control, allowing future conversions to full 4-lane divided expressways.[3]


The two-lane expressway is not a new concept in Malaysia, as the Kuala Lumpur – Karak Expressway was initially a two-lane toll expressway before being upgraded to a full expressway in 1997.[4] While the full four-lane divided toll expressways are more favored in recent years due to their higher traffic capacity, a few two-lane expressways do exist, such as the Kempas Highway and the North Klang Straits Bypass. These expressways, however, only have partial access control with at-grade intersections commonly available like most other federal and state roads. Nevertheless, these two-lane highways are still classified as "two-lane expressways" as they are maintained by highway concessionaires, namely PLUS Expressways Berhad (Kempas Highway) and Shapadu (North Klang Straits Bypass). Meanwhile the South Klang Valley Expressway at Teluk Panglima Garang is a two-lane carriageway making it the first true two-lane expressway in Klang Valley and the second in Malaysia.

The first true two-lane expressway with full access control is the section of the Senai-Desaru Expressway between Cahaya Baru and Penawar.[5]


  • The part of North Luzon Expressway in Mabalacat, Pampanga from Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) Interchange to Sta. Ines (northern terminus). However, it was announced on 7 November 2013 that the Manila North Tollways Corporation will expand SCTEx-Santa Ines segment from two lanes to four lanes.
  • The part of STAR Tollway in Batangas from Lipa City to Batangas City (southern terminus) is formerly a two-lane expressway. But, an upgrade into a 4 lane expressway has finished.
  • The Subic-Tipo Expressway in Zambales is a two lane expressway.



  • A new Super-2 bypass of Mexicali (MEX-2D) was completed in summer 2006. It features 1 lane in each direction and is a toll road. Three interchanges exist—one at each end, and one in the middle, providing access to MEX-5 (north to downtown Mexicali and south to San Felipe). The road has complete control of access. According to a toll collector, this Super-2 is scheduled for an upgrade to a full toll freeway (four lanes, two in each direction) by sometime in 2008. Eventually, this freeway may be constructed all the way to San Luis Río Colorado, replacing the existing four lane undivided highway, MEX-2.
  • A Super-2 bypass of Poza Rica, Veracruz, was finished in 2005. This two-lane toll highway connects MEX 131 north of Poza Rica to MEX 180 east of Papantla.
  • A Super-2 toll road (MEX-15D) connects most of the distance between Mazatlán and Tepic.

United States


Also Arkansas 549 Future expansion of I 49



  • A 1-mile (1.6 km) portion of the Milford Connector from the Wilbur Cross Parkway to Wheelers Farms Road in Milford. This divided 2-lane extension of the original connector opened in 1993.
  • Route 190 between Route 159 in Suffield and the Pearl Street underpass in Enfield is a two-lane undivided freeway. It was originally planned to be a 4-lane expressway across northern Connecticut.
  • Route 2A from the eastbound on-ramp from Mohegan Boulevard to Route 12 (0.8 miles).




  • US-400 bypasses Neodesha to the south and west. The western portion of this bypass is two-lanes, while the eastern section, multiplexed with US-75 is a conventional 4-lane freeway.


  • The Hal Rogers Parkway (formerly Daniel Boone Parkway), connecting Hazard and London, is a two-lane freeway for virtually its entire length (approximately 65 miles (105 km)), with occasional truck lanes on hills. The only four-lane section is the northern bypass of London at the road's western end. Originally, the road was tolled from the eastern end of the London bypass to Hazard. May be upgraded to four lanes in the future as part of a possible extension to Interstate 66.
  • The Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway, another road that was originally a toll road but has since ceased toll collection, is a two-lane freeway from Exit 43 at Campton to the road's eastern terminus in Salyersville. In 2014, Kentucky governor Steve Beshear announced a proposal to upgrade the two-lane section to four lanes, and extend the parkway a further 16 miles (26 km) to Prestonsburg.[9]



  • Interstate 95 north of Bangor was originally constructed as a two-lane freeway. In 1981 the present divided highway was completed between Bangor and Houlton at the Canadian border.




  • a rare instance of a two-lane freeway that was restricted to only one direction of traffic existed in Michigan at one time, of which U.S. Route 16 was restricted to eastbound traffic when bypassing Farmington, MI. This rare instance permitted passing traffic without the liability of a head-on collision, though this changed when it was upgraded to a four-lane divided freeway which became I-96, and later M-102, then M-5.



  • US Route 54 bypasses Mexico, Missouri on a 2 lane expressway around the city. The 2 lane expressway both begins and ends at the original route through Mexico, now signed as Business Loop 54. The divided highway begins just east of the West Mexico Interchange, while the east end is only a set of ramps to eventually be connected to the planned expressway.

New Hampshire

New Jersey

  • The Freehold Bypass of Route 33 is a two-lane freeway between Halls Mill Road (CR 55) and Brickyard Road. There is a full cloverleaf at Halls Mill, a westbound entrance at Howell Road, and full access from Fairfield Road.

New York

  • An example of a two-lane parkway is Bethpage State Parkway on Long Island. This was constructed by Robert Moses as a two-lane freeway in part due to aesthetics. Like most parkways (especially those created by Moses), the road was originally meant to deliver a pleasurable motoring experience, and as such incorporates natural scenery, as well as pedestrian and bicycle trails for those who choose not to drive.
  • NY 104 has two-lane freeway sections between Rochester and Oswego. It was originally intended to become a freeway, but only one set of lanes were built.
  • NY 85 near Albany, NY contains a section of approximately 2 miles of two-lane expressway extending from the Albany City line to the roundabout at Blessing Road. This section, colloquially known as the Slingerlands Bypass, was originally constructed as two lanes of a four-lane expressway when it was designed in the 1940s and 1950s. However, the remaining two lanes were never completed. In the future, the unused portions of adjacent land could easily be used to construct the two lanes originally planned, with minimal effort, if necessary. This is due to the fact that most of the grading and drainage is already present from the original construction work.
  • NY 5S has a two-lane freeway section between Ilion and its junction with NY 28. NY 5S is a divided four-lane freeway west of this, extending to Utica.

North Carolina

  • US 1 between Cary and Sanford (exits 70 and 98) was a two-lane freeway until its expansion to 4 divided lanes in the late 1990s.
  • US 17 between exits 224 and 229 in the Edenton area was a two-lane freeway until the early 1990s.
  • US 64 between exits 457 and 463 in the Nashville area was a two-lane freeway until the late 70s.
  • US 421 was originally constructed with three two-lane freeway segments - the first between Winston-Salem and Yadkinville, with the second sections as part of a bypass around the towns of North Wilkesboro and Wilkesboro. These sections were converted into 4-lane, divided freeways between the 1970s and 1990s.


US 33 in southeast Ohio




  • U.S. Route 220, south of the Bedford Fairgrounds interchange to the intersection with Business Route 220.

Rhode Island

  • Route 78, which starts about 200 yards (meters) inside Connecticut bypasses the city of Westerly to the north and east, and is a key route for traffic heading between I-95 and the Rhode Island beaches.




  • US 7 just north of Bennington to just north of Manchester is a full expressway that turns into a two-lane freeway just after Exit 2 (VT 7A). There are two more exits on this section of Route 7. Exit 3 serves VT 7A in the Arlington area, and Exit 4 serves VT Routes 30 and 11 for Manchester.
  • Route 289 around Burlington. Plans to extend the Super-2 both north and south were cancelled by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin in May, 2011. Mile markers on the constructed segment are based on the entire length as originally planned. [13]
  • The Bennington Bypass will be a 2-lane bypass of Bennington when completed. Two segments, from New York Route 7 to US-7 and from US-7 to Vermont Route 9 are open and signed as Route 279. The remaining southern portion of the bypass remains to be built and is unfunded.
  • A short section of Vermont Route 127 in Burlington known as the Winooski Valley Parkway is built as a two-lane expressway.



West Virginia

  • The West Virginia Turnpike was a two-lane freeway from its opening in 1954 until it was expanded to four lanes in 1986.


  • U.S. Highway 14, south of the interchange with County MM at Oregon, to Wisconsin 138. This section was expanded to four lanes during the summer of 2009.
  • A segment of Wisconsin 26 bypassing Fort Atkinson was built as a two-lane limited access freeway. This section was expanded to four lanes during the summer of 2011.[14][15]
  • The U.S. Highway 151 bypasses of Beaver Dam and Waupun were originally built as Super-2s during the 1970s to accommodate future expansion; these have since been upgraded as part of the highway's ongoing conversion to a four-lane facility through the entire state.
  • Portions of Interstate 39 / U.S. Highway 51, first near Westfield and later near Tomahawk, were built as a two-lane freeways; these were expanded in the late 1980s and 1990s respectively.
  • WI 35/65 on the River Falls Bypass from WI 29 to when the four-lane starts.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Kingston Bypass".  
  2. ^ a b "Channel Highway, Kingston Bypass" (PDF).  
  3. ^ "NEXCO-Central Business Outline" (pdf). Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  4. ^ "Lebuh raya dua lorong Cahaya Baru-Penawar ikut piawai LLM".   (Malay)
  5. ^ "Reviu eksklusif Lebuhraya Senai-Desaru E22" (in Malay). Blog Jalan Raya Malaysia. 2012-08-23. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  6. ^ Ottawa Rapid Transit#Bus rapid transit: the Transitway
  7. ^ Southern terminus of SR 407
  8. ^ At grade intersection with SR 407
  9. ^ Hesterberg, Tanner (January 16, 2014). "Gov. Beshear releases plan for extending, four-laning Mountain Parkway".  
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "CIRC Alternatives Task Force". Chittenden County RPC. Retrieved 2014-10-13. 
  14. ^ Bessert, Chris. "Wisconsin Highways: Highways 20-29 (Highway 26)". Wisconsin Highways. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  15. ^ "WIS 26 corridor - Expansion project - Segment 4, Fort Atkinson bypass". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
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