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  • Longest Road

    The longest road in the world is the Pan-American Highway. It begins at Fairbanks, Alaska and concludes at Brasilia, Brazil. The highway is 47,958 kilometers (29,800 miles) long.

    General Information

    The road joins the mainland countries in the Americas on a linked highway. However, there is a rainforest gap of 87 kilometers (54 mi) known as the Darien Gap. This gap is popular with adventurers. It is crossed regularly by ATVs, motorcycles, bicycles and people on foot.

    The area is a jungle filled with swamps and insects.

    The Guinness Book of Records states that it is the lengthiest motorable road on earth. Due to the Darien Gap, it is impossible to cross between Central and South America using traditional vehicles.

    Overview

    The longest road in the world extends from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in the US down to South America. Claims of various highway termini abound. These include Ushuaia in Argentina and Quellon in Chile. There are numerous highways in the US and Canada termed “Pan-American”, but no comprehensive route exists.

    The road traverses different climates and ecologies. The highway passes by jungles, cold mountains and hot deserts. The highway isn’t uniform as it goes through several nations. There are portions which are difficult to cross. Other sections can only be used during dry weather.

    Some of its better known sections are the Inter-American Highway and the Alaska Highway. The Inter-American Highway is between the Panama Canal and the US. Both parts were built during World War II.

    The Highway System

    The Pan American Highway goes through 14 countries. They are Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States and Canada. There are also spurs that go into Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil.

    The highway heads out north from Mexico into the US in Laredo, Texas. But from that point until Prudhoe Bay, no official route can be found. But many roads claim to be a part of it.

    Some of these are Interstate 35 through San Antonio, Texas, U.S. Route 81 from McPherson, Kansas and the Yukon. Many others also claim to be part of the Pan American Highway.

    While the highway is already the longest road in the world, there are plans to develop the Darien Gap and finish the structure. But there are groups opposed to this idea. Reasons include preserving the rainforest and preventing tropical disease from spreading.

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