Roads in Portugal

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A8 motorway, near Malveira.

Roads in Portugal are integrated in the Plano Rodoviário Nacional de 2000 (2000 National Roadway Plan), which describes the existing and planned network of Portuguese roads.

The Plano Rodoviário Nacional de 2000 (PRN 2000), approved in 1998, has replaced the PRN 1985 (1985 National Roadway Plan), which itself replaced the PRN 1945 (1945 National Roadway Plan).

History of road classification in Portugal[edit]

First attempts[edit]

N16 (between Aveiro and Vilar Formoso) was completed in the 1930s. For decades, this was the most direct road link between Portugal and the rest of Europe. In the 1980s, it was replaced by the IP5 expressway, which itself was replaced, in the 2000s, by the A25 motorway.

The first real projects for road plans in Portugal date back from 1843 and 1848, and were based on 18th century plans which was based on connections between Lisbon and strategical points of the country, and as a support for fluvial routes. The precognized network was classified in 1850 as Estradas (Roads) and Caminhos (Paths), being Estradas classified as 1st and 2nd class, and Caminhos, routes of local interest.

In 1862, the road network (existing and projected) is classified as 1st Class, estradas reais (royal roads) (with direct or indirect (via railways, for instance) origin in Lisbon) and 2nd Class, estradas distritais (district roads) and estradas municipais (municipal roads), the latter being managed by the municipalities.

With the abolition of the Monarchy in 1910, the estradas Reais were renamed as estradas nacionais (national roads).

In 1913, the estradas distritais were also renamed estradas nacionais.

Despite these efforts of a constitution of a Road Network, many routes were not clearly classified and the state of most roads was chaotic, and with the expansion of the automobile in the 1920s, new directions should be taken upon the Portuguese road network.

In 1927, yet under the military dictatorship, by Law nº 13 969 from 20 July 1927, the Junta Autónoma das Estradas (JAE) was created in order to study the state of the Portuguese road network. The preliminary report was clear to state that from the 16000 km of the national road network, 4000 km were to be completed, and 10000 km were in almost in ruin state.

The roads were then reclassified as Estradas Nacionais (1st and 2nd Class), Estradas Municipais and Caminhos Públicos (Public Paths), the latter two under municipal management.[1][2]

1945 National Roadway Plan[edit]

N12 is an Oporto ring road, and, according PRN 1945, it was a National Road of 1st Class. N12 is today to be converted in a boulevard.
N122 (Beja-Vila Real de Santo António) was a National Road of 1st Class.
N217, a National Road of 2nd Class, in Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.

In 1933, the whole network (national and municipal) totalized 16900 km. The State recognized the importance of the road network and which led to the elaboration, in 1945, of the first real National Roadway Plan, the Plano Rodoviário Nacional de 1945 (PRN 45) (Law nº 34 593 from 11 May 1945). By that date, the National and Municipal network, comprised 20500 km.

The 1945 National Roadway Plan, classified the national road network in Rede Fundamental (fundamental network) and Rede Complementar (complementary network), the latter served to support the fundamental network, the roads were classified according to the following:

  • Fundamental Network: Estradas Nacionais - EN or N:
    • 1st Class Roads:
      • Main Roads: N 1 to N 18
      • Other 1st Class: N 101 to N 125
    • 2nd Class Roads:
      • N 201 to N 270
  • Complementary Network: Estradas Nacionais - EN or N:
    • 3rd Class Roads:
      • N 301 to N 398
      • N X-Y. Branch roads, emerging from a determinated road, which was identified in the X factor, with a number of order according to point of origin, identified in the Y factor. The road with most branch roads was N 1, originally with 18 roads (N 1-1 to N 1-18, but N 1-1 and N 1-2 were renamed in the 1960s). These roads were planned to cover distances rarely longer than 20 km, in order to close some road grids, connecting locals of some demographic importance which are not covered by the "mother" road, less important border crossings, railway stations and sea ports. There were 438 Branch Roads.

National Roads' Statutes were subsequently approved in 1949.[3]

In 1961, separate legislation (Law nº 2110, from 19 August 1961)[4] on municipal roads defined new guidelines on construction, maintenance and commercialization of these roads, and those were classified as following:

  • Estradas Municipais - EM or M:[5]
    • M 501-M 999, following a district sequence, so the sequence 501 and over was repeated in every district. Municipal Roads could have also Branch Roads, following the same rules as for National Roads
  • Caminhos Públicos or Caminhos Municipais - CM (from 1961):[6]
    • CM 1001 and on, with the same numbering rules as Municipal Roads

The Main Roads could be, by law, upgraded into 4 lanes with central separation, if necessary. In fact this happened even before the PRN 1945 with the N7 motorway (nowadays A5) between Lisbon and the National Stadium, completed in 1944, and in 1961 with the first 25 km of N1 motorway (nowadays A1), between Lisbon and Vila Franca de Xira. The first urban highways have been built also in the 1960s.

The road classes where identified by colour codes: red for 1st class, blue for 2nd class, green for 3rd class, yellow for Municipal Roads and brown for Municipal Paths. The numbering distribution for main roads was according to the importance of its route in the network, and for N101 and over were numbered in a North to South growing fashion.

The extension of the roads had noting with its class (except for branch road, which were usually short distance), existing 3rd class roads more than 100 km long, and Main Roads with as short as 8 km long, like the N7 highway, now part of A5. The longest road of the 1945 Plan was N2, connecting Chaves to Faro, with 740 km long.

According 1945 National Roadway Plan, there were 18 Main Roads, designated N1 through N18.

Number Route Length Notes
 N 1  Lisbon - Vila Franca de Xira - Leiria - Pombal - Coimbra - Albergaria-a-Velha - Porto (northern end of upper deck of D. Luís Bridge) Originally about 320;
Currently about 305 (between Lisbon and the northern end of Av. da República in Vila Nova de Gaia)
On 1945 National Roadway Plan, it was Portugal's main road, connecting Lisbon and Oporto. Originally crossing the towns or city centres on its route, over the years many variant roads have been built to avoid urban areas.

In 1961, the new highway section between Lisbon and Vila Franca de Xira, part of the future Lisbon-Oporto Highway, was classified as N1. The original route became an extension of N10. The N 1 classification for the referred branch of A1 had been kept until 1985, thereafter the N1 road had its starting point at the level of km 26.
Also in the 1960s a more direct and straight connection between Venda das Raparigas (Benedita, Alcobaça) and São Jorge (Porto de Mós) has been built. The original route was reclassified as N 8-6 (Venda das Raparigas-Alcobaça, or more properly Alcobaça-Venda das Raparigas) and N 8 (Alcobaça-vicinity of São Jorge), thus extending its route farther north.

According to 1985 National Roadway Plan, the most parts of this road have been included on IC2, signed as IC2/N1. Some sections which aren't common with IC2 are intended for local traffic.

 N 2  Chaves - Vila Real - Viseu - Penacova - Abrantes - Ponte de Sor - Montemor-o-Novo - Ferreira do Alentejo - Almodôvar - Faro 740 The longest road of Portugal according to 1945 National Roadway Plan connecting North to South, "cutting" the country halfway between West and East.

Many branches had been replaced in importance by 1985 Plan's IP roads, some renamed as Estrada Regional (R 2) and some municipalized, anyway its original route is kept. The N 2 is nicknamed as "Portuguese Route 66"

 N 3  Carregado (N1) - Santarém - Torres Novas - Vila Velha de Rodão - Castelo Branco (N18) 213 It was the most direct connection between Lisbon (Carregado is located at km 33 of N 1) and the most important cities of the former provinces of Ribatejo, Beira Baixa and Beira Alta, the latter through N18, which this road meets in Sernadas do Ródão.
 N 4  Montijo - Vendas Novas - Estremoz - Elvas - Caia 182/194 (projected) The original project of this road included a bridge over the Tagus River, in order to directly connect Lisbon with Alentejo and the border of Caia, near Badajoz. The bridge was never built and this road starts at the level of km 12.
 N 5  Montijo - Marateca - Alcácer do Sal - Barragem do Vale de Gaio - N2 87 Projected to connect Lisbon region into the south of Portugal, through N2, which this road would meet in Torrão, later it was decided that this road would run through Vale do Gaio Dam. The connection between Vale do Gaio Dam and N2 was never built, but the route through Torrão was built and reclassified as N5-2.
 N 6  Lisbon - Paço de Arcos - Parede - Estoril - Cascais 25 The famous seaside Road of Cascais/Estoril Coast, also known as Avenida Marginal, on most of its route. It is designed on a four lane, two each direction. This road was projected to include the former Lisbon ringroad on its route.
 N 7  Lisbon - National Stadium 8 Original name of the A5, the first Portuguese motorway, inaugurated in 1944. It was only extended into Cascais in 1991, known then, yet, as A5.
 N 8  Lisbon - Loures - Torres Vedras - Óbidos - Caldas da Rainha - Alcobaça - Cruz da Légua - IC2 / N1 131 Connects Lisbon to the West Region. Originally this road ended in Alcobaça, meeting there N 1 (see N 1 for details). It has been included on IC1 route with the 1985 National Roadway Plan, and it was reclassified as N 8 by 2000 National Roadway Plan.
 N 9  Cascais (N6) - Sintra - Torres Vedras - Alenquer (N1) 98 Crosses the northern region of Lisbon, along with N 6 (Lisbon-Cascais), N 1 (Alenquer-Vila Franca de Xira) and N 10 (Vila Franca de Xira-Lisbon) forms a ring road around Lisbon region.
 N 10  Almada - Setúbal - Vila Franca de Xira - Lisbon 141 A ring road that connects the south bank of Tagus to Lisbon, via Marechal Carmona Bridge (Vila Franca de Xira). From 1961, it classified the original route of N1 between Vila France de Xira and Lisbon.
 N 11  Montijo - Barreiro 10/32 (projected) Short distance road in the south bank of Tagus, the original plan included a connectiton from Barreiro to Trafaria never built, as the miriametric stones indicate. It was renamed as R11.
 N 12  Matosinhos - Rio Tinto 17 Oporto ring road, to be converted into a boulevard.
 N 13  Porto - Viana do Castelo - Valença 115 Road crossing the Northwest region of Portugal, with an almost seaside route.
 N 14  Porto - Braga 56
 N 15  Ermesinde - Amarante - Vila Real - Mirandela - Bragança 240 The main road from Oporto to the region of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, until the construction of IP4.
 N 16  Aveiro - Viseu - Guarda - Vilar Formoso 224 Connects Aveiro to the most important border with Spain. From the 1970s and on the road was considered obsolete due to several kilometres of traffic jams in order to cross the border, as an alternative IP5 was built, but this road proved to be highly dangerous and was converted into an autoestrada, the A25.
 N 17  Coimbra - Celorico da Beira (N16) 131 Connects Coimbra with the Beira Alta region, crossing the outskirts of Serra da Estrela.
 N 18  Guarda - Castelo Branco - Portalegre - Estremoz - Évora - Beja - Ourique - Ervidel (N2) 379 Crosses the most important cities in the far east of Portugal, connects with N 2 in Ervidel. Many branches were included on IP2.

1985 National Roadway Plan[edit]

The A22 motorway, in the Algarve, was originally signalized as IP1. During the 1980s and 1990s, usually, only tolled highways were signalized as Axx, while the other highways were signalized as IPxx or ICxx.

From the 1960s and on, many routes started to be assumed as somewhat outdated, so in 1972, Brisa was set up in order to manage a projected network of motorways, which by that time didn't reach an extension of 100 km. New sections of motorways were then built in the 1970s, like the Vila Franca de Xira-Carregado (1977), Carregado-Aveiras de Cima (1980), Condeixa-a-Nova-Mealhada (1982, which permitted bypassing the city centre of Coimbra), Santa Maria da Feira-Carvalhos (1980) and Albergaria-a-Velha-Santa Maria da Feira (1983) sections, all from what would become A1 motorway, as well as the extension of what would became A2 motorway into Setúbal (between 1978 and 1979).

However, the whole road network started to be assumed as more and more inadequate in order to properly serve the whole country.

In the eve of Portugal integration into EEC, the replacement for 1945 National Roadway Plan comes to the light by the Law 380/85, from 25 September, the Plano Rodoviário Nacional de 1985 (1985 National Roadway Plan) or PRN 85.

The road network would be again composed by the Rede Fundamental (Fundamental Network), composed of nine itinerários principais (principal routes), designated IP1 through IP9, which totalized 2635 km:

Number Route Length
 IP 1  Valença - Braga - Porto - Aveiro - Coimbra - Leiria - Santarém - Lisbon - Montijo - Setúbal - Aljustrel - Faro - Castro Marim 734
 IP 2  Portelo - Bragança - Guarda - Covilhã - Castelo Branco - Portalegre - Évora - Beja - Faro 564
 IP 3  Vila Verde da Raia - Vila Real - Lamego - Viseu - Coimbra - Figueira da Foz 279
 IP 4  Porto - Vila Real - Bragança - Quintanilha 237
 IP 5  Aveiro - Viseu - Guarda - Vilar Formoso 204
 IP 6  Peniche - Caldas da Rainha - Rio Maior - Santarém - Torres Novas - Abrantes - Castelo Branco 219
 IP 7  Lisbon - Setúbal - Évora - Estremoz - Elvas - Caia 225
 IP 8  Sines - Santiago do Cacém - Beja - Serpa - Vila Verde de Ficalho 154
 IP 9  Viana do Castelo - Ponte de Lima - Braga - Guimarães - Amarante - Vila Real 161

The itinerários principais were set to be of restricted access, forbidding pedestrian, animal and bicycle traffic, but exceptions could be accepted, specially for sections resulting from the reclassification of former national roads into IP network.

The road network was composed also by the Rede Complementar (Complementary Network), composed by 24 itinerários complementares (IC) and Other Roads (former National Roads not set for municipalization). Complementary Network was 4807 km long.

The PRN 85 established 24 Itinerários Complementares (Complementary Routes), designated IC1 through IC24, which totalized 2439 km:

Number Route Length
 IC 1  Lisbon - Torres Vedras - Caldas da Rainha - Leiria - Figueira da Foz - Aveiro - Ovar - Espinho - Porto - Póvoa de Varzim - Viana do Castelo - Valença 450
 IC 2  Lisbon - Rio Maior - Leiria - Coimbra - Mealhada - São João da Madeira - Argoncilhe - Porto 330
 IC 3  Setúbal - Palmela - Montijo - Salvaterra de Magos - Almeirim - Entroncamento - Tomar - Penela - Condeixa- Coimbra (IP3) 235
 IC 4  Sines - Lagos - Portimão - Faro  ?
 IC 5  Póvoa de Varzim (IC1) - Famalicão - Guimarães - Fafe - Vila Pouca de Aguiar - Murça - Vila Flor - Alfândega da Fé - Mogadouro - Miranda do Douro (border with Spain) 131
 IC 6  Santa Comba Dão (IP3) - Venda de Galizes - Seia - Gouveia -Celorico da Beira (IP5)  ?
 IC 7  Coimbra - Penacova - Venda de Galizes - Covilhã (IP2)  ?
 IC 8  Figueira da Foz (IC1) - Pombal (IP1) - Figueiró dos Vinhos - Pedrógão Grande - Sertã - Proença-a-Nova - Castelo Branco - Segura (IP2) 118
 IC 9  Alcobaça - Nazaré - Marinha Grande - Leiria - Ourém - Tomar  ?
 IC 10  Santarém (IP 1) - Almeirim - Coruche - Montemor-o-Novo - Estremoz (IP8) 151
 IC 11  Torres Vedras - Vila Franca de Xira - Pegões - Marateca (IP1) 53
 IC 12  Viseu (IP5) - Seia (IC6) - Covilhã (IP2)  ?
 IC 13  Coina (IP7) - Montijo (IP1) - Coruche - Mora - Ponte de Sor - Alter do Chão - Crato - Portalegre  ?
 IC 14  Barcelos - Braga  ?
 IC 15  Lisbon - Oeiras - Cascais 25
 IC 16  Lisbon (CRIL - IC17) - Amadora - Belas - Alto Colaride - Sintra - Cascais 27
 IC 17  Algés - Buraca - Olival de Basto - Sacavém (IP1) 21
 IC 18  Caxias (IC15) - Queluz - Loures - Alverca (IP 1) 35
 IC 19  Coina - Montijo - Alcochete  ?
 IC 20  Almada - Costa da Caparica 6
 IC 21  Coina - Barreiro 7
 IC 22  Olival Basto (IC17) - Montemor (CREL - IC18) 4
 IC 23  Ponte da Arrábida - Avenida de Fernão de Magalhães - Ponte de Freixo - Avenida da República - IC1 21
 IC 24  Oporto (IC23) - Matosinhos - Moreira (IC1)  ?

The whole network totalized 9881 km, about 12000 km of 1945 national roads were set for municipalization.

In 1993, it was proposed the reclassification of 600 km of roads in the IC network and about 1700 km into Other Roads, but the optimization of the 1985 National Roadway Plan only came with the 2000 National Roadway Plan, which was initially proposed in 1996.

Like nowadays, during the application of 1985 National Roadway Plan, the motorways received different classification according the characteristic if they been concessionated or not. So, although all Portuguese motorways officially had an IP or IC classification, only concessionated highways received the Axx classification (whether tolled or not), while the other highways - non concessionated, and therefore, always non-tolled - were signalized as IPxx or ICxx. Because, until the 2000s, almost all concessionated highways were tolled, in that time, the different classification caused by the concession or not of the highways, usually coincided with the characteristic of an highway be tolled or not, what could help the drivers, in that time, to know in advance what were the tolled highways and the non-tolled highways.

2000 National Roadway Plan[edit]

Typical signage of an autoestrada (on left) and a non-highway IP road (on right).

In 1998, by Law nº 222/98, from 17 July, it was approved the Plano Rodoviário Nacional de 2000 (2000 National Roadway Plan) or PRN 2000, which comprises an optimization of the 1985 National Roadway Plan, with the addition of about 1500 km of roads into the National Network, and the creation of the Rede Regional (Regional Network), of about 5000 km of roads, as well as the identification of the Rede Nacional de Auto-Estradas (National Highway Network), as part of IP and IC network. The plan includes 16500 km of roads.

The Road Network is defined, as following:

  • Fundamental Network:
    • Itinerários Principais (2600 km)
  • Complementary Network:
    • Itinerários Complementares (3016 km)
    • Estradas Nacionais (5513 km)
  • Regional Network:
    • Estradas Regionais (sections of former National Roads, which take the same numbering, i.e. ER 2 is a section of EN 2, if the road crosses more than one region, separate sections of the former National Road can be part of the Regional Network) (about 5000 km).
  • Rede Nacional de Auto-Estradas (National Highway Network)
    • Auto-Estradas (always part of IP and IC network)

It should be noted that IP and IC roads, may have other designations, specially those integrated in the National Highway Network, where the "A" designation is preferred on traffic signage, except for some city or suburban highways.

Since its approval, the 2000 National Roadway Plan was updated twice (in 1999 and in 2003).

Current classification according PRN 2000[edit]

Autoestradas[edit]

Autoestrada is the Portuguese language word for "motorway" or "freeway." Portugal has about 3,000 km of motorways, crossing all the coast and connecting the main inland cities and towns. Several autoestradas are linked with the Spanish motorway system and, through Spain, to the rest of Europe.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Portugal was the country with the greatest development in the motorway network in the European Union. It had 316 km of motorways in 1990 and the number increased to 1242 km by 1999 and 2100 km by the end of 2007.[7]

Each autoestrada forms part or all of an IP or an IC.[8] These are designated with an "A" code as well as an IP or an IC code, though they are typically only signalized by the A designation. In addition, many of these roads are part of the European road network, and so also carry an "E" designation, which may serve as reference for non-Portuguese drivers.

Number Designation Route IP/IC Length Construction Concessionaire
 A 1  Autoestrada do Norte Lisbon - Santarém - Leiria - Coimbra - Aveiro - Porto  IP 1  (Lisbon - Carvalhos)
 IP 6  (Santarém/  A 15  - Torres Novas/  A 23 
 IC 1  (  A 29  interchange - Porto)
 IC 2  (Carvalhos - Arrábida-Porto)
 IC 23  (Coimbrões-Gaia/  A 44  – Arrábida-Porto/  A 28 )
303 1960–1991 Brisa
 A 2  Autoestrada do Sul Lisbon / Ponte 25 de Abril - Marateca - Alcácer do Sal - Grândola - Ourique - Albufeira  IP 1  (Palmela/  A 12  - Albufeira)
 IP 7  (Lisbon - Marateca/ A 6 - A 13 )
240 1966–2002 Brisa
 A 3  Autoestrada do Minho Porto - Famalicão - Braga - Ponte de Lima - Valença  IP 1 
 IP 9  (Ponte de Lima/  A 27  - Braga/  A 11 )
112 1989–1998 Brisa
 A 4  Autoestrada Transmontana Porto - Penafiel - Amarante - Spain traffic signal tp18.svg - Vila Real - Mirandela - Bragança - Quintanilha  IP 4 
 IP 9  (Castelões/  A 11  - Vila Real)
192
(223)
1990 - 2015 Ascendi
Brisa
AE do Marão
AEXXI
 A 5  Autoestrada do Estoril Lisbon - Oeiras - Cascais  IC 15  25 1944–1991 Brisa
 A 6  Autoestrada do Alentejo Marateca - Évora - Estremoz - Elvas - Caia  IP 7  159 1995–1999 Brisa
 A 7  Autoestrada do Alvão Vila do Conde - Famalicão - Guimarães - Fafe - Vila Pouca de Aguiar  IC 5  100 1999–2007 Ascendi
 A 8  Autoestrada do Oeste Lisboa - Caldas da Rainha - Leiria - A1  IC 1  (Lisbon - Marinha Grande/  A 17 )
 IC 17-CRIL  (Km 0-km 2)
 IC 36  (Marinha Grande/  A 17  - Leiria/  A 1 )
138 1984–2011 AE do Atlântico
 A 8-1  Circular Oriental de Leiria (COL) Pousos (  A 8 /  A 1 ) -  IC 2  3 1990's as COL
 A 9  Circular Regional Exterior de Lisboa Caxias (National Stadium) - Queluz - Loures - Alverca  IC 18  35 1994–1995 Brisa
 A 10  Autoestrada do Ribatejo Bucelas - Arruda dos Vinhos - Carregado - Benavente  IC 2  (Bucelas/  A 9-CREL  - Carregado)
 IC 11  (Carregado - Benavente/  A 13 )
40 2003–2007 Brisa
 A 11  Apúlia - Braga - Guimarães - Penafiel  IC 14  (Apúlia/  A 28  - Braga/  A 3 )
 IP 9  (Braga/  A 3  - Castelões/  A 4 )
80 1998–2006 Ascendi
 A 12  Lisbon / Ponte Vasco da Gama - Montijo -Setúbal  IP 1  (Lisbon - Palmela/  A 2 )
 IC 3  (Montijo - Setúbal)
41 1979–1998 Brisa
 A 13  Marateca - Benavente - Salvaterra de Magos - Almeirim -**- Chamusca -**- Golegã -**- Vila Nova da Barquinha -(to be upgraded into dual carriageway)-  A 23  - Tomar - Avelar - Condeixa - Spain traffic signal tp18.svg (to be opened in 2014) - Coimbra  IC 3  (Coimbra - Benavente/  A 10 )
 IC 11  (Benavente/  A 10  - Marateca/  A 2 -  A 6  )
156
(206)
2002–? Brisa (Almeirim-Marateca), Ascendi (A23-Coimbra)
 A 13-1   A 1  - Condeixa -  A 13  10 2012 Ascendi
 A 14  Autoestrada do Baixo Mondego Figueira da Foz - Montemor-o-Velho - Coimbra  IP 3  40 1994–2002 Brisa
 A 15  Óbidos - Rio Maior - Santarém - ** - Almeirim  IP 6  (Óbidos/  A 8 -Santarém/  A 1 )
 IC 10  (Santarém/  A 1  - Almeirim)
51
(55)
1995–2001 AE do Atlântico
 A 16  Lisbon - Spain traffic signal tp18.svg - Pontinha - Sintra - Alcabideche  IC 16  (Lisbon - Sintra)
 IC 30  (Sintra - Alcabideche)
27
(28)
1995–2011 Ascendi
 A 17  Autoestrada do Litoral Centro Marinha Grande - Figueira da Foz - Mira - Aveiro  IC 1  100 2004–2008 Brisa
Ascendi
 A 18  Torres Vedras - ** - Carregado  IC 11  (27) -
 A 19  Porto de Mós - Azóia - Leiria  IC 2  16 2010–2011 AE do Litoral Oeste
 A 20  Circular Regional Interior do Porto Carvalhos - Ponte do Freixo - Francos  IP 1  (Carvalhos - Antas-Porto/  A 3 )
 IC 23  (Freixo-Porto - Francos-Porto/  A 28 )
17 1989–1995 AE do Douro Litoral
 A 21  Malveira - Ericeira 21 2005–2008 Mafratlântico
 A 22  Via do Infante de Sagres Lagos - Portimão - Albufeira - Faro - Castro Marim  IP 1  (Tunes/  A 2  - Castro Marim)
 IC 4  (Lagos - Loulé)
133 1991–2003 Euroscut Algarve
 A 23  Autoestrada da Beira Interior Torres Novas - Abrantes - Castelo Branco - Fundão - Covilhã - Guarda  IP 6  (Torres Novas/  A 1  - Castelo Branco)
 IP 2  (Fratel - Guarda/  A 25 )
217 1993 - 2003 Scutvias
 A 24  Autoestrada do Interior Norte Coimbra - ** - Mealhada - ** - Viseu - Peso da Régua - Vila Real - Chaves - Vila Verde da Raia  IP 3  162
(227)
1998–2010 Norscut
 A 25  Autoestrada das Beiras Litoral e Alta Aveiro - Viseu - Guarda - Vilar Formoso - ** - border with Spain  IP 5  197
(199)
1991–2006 Ascendi
 A 26  Autoestrada do Baixo Alentejo Sines - Spain traffic signal tp18.svg - Santiago do Cacém - Spain traffic signal tp18.svg - Beja  IP 8 
 IC 33  (Sines - Santiago do Cacém)
11
(95)
2012 AE do Baixo Alentejo
 A 27  Viana do Castelo - Ponte de Lima  IP 9  24 2001–2005 AE do Norte Litoral
 A 28  Autoestrada do Litoral Norte Porto - Viana do Castelo - Caminha - ** - Valença  IC 1 
 IC 23  (Arrábida-Porto/  A 1  – Francos-Porto)
93
(123)
1960–2008 AE do Norte Litoral
 A 29  Autoestrada da Costa de Prata Angeja - Ovar - Espinho - Vila Nova de Gaia  IC 1  53 1994–2009 Ascendi
 A 30  Sacavém - Santa Iria de Azóia  IC 2  10 1998 Ascendi
 A 31  Variante a Coimbra Coimbra (south) - Coimbra (north)  IC 2  5 1991 -
 A 32  Autoestrada do Entre Douro e Vouga Oliveira de Azeméis - Vila Nova de Gaia  IC 2  35 2011 AE do Douro Litoral
 A 33  Circular Regional Interna da Península de Setúbal Funchalinho - Coina - Montijo - ** - New Lisbon Airoport - ** - Canha  IC 3  (Montijo - Canha)
 IC 32  (Funchalinho - Montijo)
37
(59)
1998-2012 AE do Baixo Tejo
 A 34  A1 - Pombal  IC 8  5 1999 -
 A 35  Mira - ** - Mealhada - ** - Mortágua - ** - Santa Comba Dão - Canas de Senhorim - ** - Mangualde  IC 12  19
(94)
1998 -
 A 36  Circular Regional Interior de Lisboa Algés - Odivelas - Sacavém  IC 17-CRIL  21 1995–2011 Ascendi
 A 37  Radial de Sintra Lisbon - Queluz - Sintra  IC 19  16 1985-1994 Ascendi
 A 38  Via Rápida da Caparica Almada - Costa da Caparica  IC 20  6 1966 AE do Baixo Tejo
 A 39  Via Rápida do Barreiro Coina - Barreiro - ** - Lisbon  IC 21  7
(23)
1980-1984 -
 A 40  Olival Basto - Odivelas - Montemor  IC 22  4 1998 Ascendi
 A 41  Circular Regional Exterior do Porto Perafita - Maia - Aguiar de Sousa - Argoncilhe - Espinho  IC 24  62 Early 1990s - 2007 Ascendi
AE do Douro Litoral
 A 42  Ermida (A41) - Paços de Ferreira - Lousada  IC 25  20 2005–2006 Ascendi
 A 43  Porto - Gondomar - Aguiar de Sousa (A41)  IC 29  9 2005–2011 AE do Douro Litoral
 A 44  Gulpilhares (A29) - Vila Nova de Gaia - Oliveira do Douro (A20)  IC 23  9 2000–2007 Ascendi
AE Douro Litoral
 A 47  Maceda - Santa Maria da Feira - ** - Mansores 3
(19)
 ? -
 A 48  São João da Madeira - ** - Ovar 13 -
 VRI  Via Regional Interior Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport - Custóias (A4) 3 2006 Ascendi

Label:

  • - = in work
  • - Spain traffic signal tp18.svg - = under construction
  • - ** - = in project

Tolls and taxation[edit]

Toll payment in Portugal uses a pioneer electronic payment system, Via Verde. The driver installs a small device on the front windshield that communicates electronically with Brisa (the company responsible for managing most of the motorways in Portugal). Since the payment is done electronically, it is quick to enter or leave the motorway, avoiding payment lines (which are still available (mostly) for drivers who haven't adhered to Via Verde).

This system has won several prizes for its innovative form of paying for services.[not specific enough to verify]

Itinerários principais[edit]

There are 9 itinerários principais (principal routes), signalized by the prefix IP, designated IP1 through IP9.[9]

IP1 and IP2 forms cross national, North-South routes, the first running by the west part of the country, but ending in the southeast border of Castro Marim/Vila Real de Santo António and the second one by the east part, roughly close to the border with Spain.

All other routes follow a West-East route, with the exception of IP3, that runs mostly North-South.

All itinerários principais, except IP6 and IP9, are connected with the Spanish border. IP2 reaches Spain by route of N103-7, in the region of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro.

Vila Franca das Naves exit of IP2 non-motorway Celorico da Beira and Trancoso section.
Non-motorway section of IP3, between Coimbra and Viseu.
Number Route Length
 IP 1  Valença - Braga - Porto - Aveiro - Coimbra - Leiria - Santarém - Lisbon - Montijo - Setúbal - Aljustrel - Faro - Castro Marim 734
 IP 2  Portelo - Bragança - Guarda - Covilhã - Castelo Branco - Portalegre - Évora - Beja - Ourique - Faro 564
 IP 3  Vila Verde da Raia - Vila Real - Lamego - Viseu - Coimbra - Figueira da Foz 279
 IP 4  Porto - Vila Real - Bragança - Quintanilha 237
 IP 5  Aveiro - Viseu - Guarda - Vilar Formoso 204
 IP 6  Peniche - Caldas da Rainha - Rio Maior - Santarém - Torres Novas - Abrantes - Castelo Branco 219
 IP 7  Lisbon - Setúbal - Évora - Estremoz - Elvas - Caia 225
 IP 8  Sines - Santiago do Cacém - Beja - Serpa - Vila Verde de Ficalho 154
 IP 9  Viana do Castelo - Ponte de Lima - Braga - Guimarães - Amarante - Vila Real 161

Itinerários complementares[edit]

There are 37 itinerários complementares (complementary routes), signalized by the letters IC, designated IC1 through IC37.[10]

Typical signage of a non-motorway IC road, in the IC27, in the Algarve.
Number Route Length
 IC 1  Valença - Viana do Castelo - Póvoa de Varzim - Porto - Espinho - Ovar - Aveiro - Figueira da Foz - Leiria - Caldas da Rainha - Torres Vedras - Lisbon - Marateca - Alcácer do Sal - Grândola - Ourique - Guia (IC4) 737
 IC 2  Lisbon - Rio Maior - Leiria - Coimbra - Mealhada - São João da Madeira - Argoncilhe - Porto 330
 IC 3  Setúbal - Palmela - Montijo - Salvaterra de Magos - Almeirim - Entroncamento - Tomar - Penela - Condeixa- Coimbra (IP3) 235
 IC 4  Sines - Lagos - Portimão - Faro  ?
 IC 5  Póvoa de Varzim (IC1) - Famalicão - Guimarães - Fafe - Vila Pouca de Aguiar - Murça - Vila Flor - Alfândega da Fé - Mogadouro - Miranda do Douro (border with Spain) 235 (131+104 as A7)
 IC 6  Coimbra (IP3) - Venda de Galizes - Covilhã (IP2) 26
 IC 7  Venda de Galizes (IC6) - Seia - Gouveia - Celorico da Beira (IP5)  ?
 IC 8  Figueira da Foz (IC1) - Pombal - Figueiró dos Vinhos - Pedrógão Grande - Sertã - Proença-a-Nova - Castelo Branco - Segura (IP 2) 118
 IC 9  Nazaré - Alcobaça - Batalha - Fátima - Ourém - Tomar - Abrantes - Ponte de Sor (IC13) 104
 IC 10  Santarém (IP 1) - Almeirim - Coruche - Montemor-o-Novo (IP7) 11
 IC 11  Peniche - Lourinhã- Torres Vedras (IC1) - Carregado - Pegões - Marateca (IP 1) 53
 IC 12  Mira (IC1) - Anadia (IP 1) - Mortágua - Santa Comba Dão - Carregal do Sal - Nelas - Mangualde (IP5) 94
 IC 13  Montijo (IP 1) - Coruche - Mora - Ponte de Sor - Alter do Chão - Crato - Portalegre 28
 IC 14  Apúlia (IC1) - Barcelos - Braga 29
 IC 15  Lisbon - Oeiras - Cascais 25
 IC 16  Lisbon (IC17) - Amadora - Belas - Alto Colaride - Sintra - Cascais 27
 IC 17  Algés - Buraca - Olival de Basto - Sacavém (IP1) 21
 IC 18  Caxias (IC15) - Queluz - Loures - Alverca (IP 1) 35
 IC 19  Lisbon (IC17) - Queluz - Sintra (N249) 16
 IC 20  Almada - Costa da Caparica 6
 IC 21  Coina - Barreiro 7
 IC 22  Olival Basto (IC17) - Montemor (IC18) 4
 IC 23  Ponte da Arrábida - Avenida de Fernão de Magalhães - Ponte de Freixo - Avenida da República - IC1 21
 IC 24  Perafita - Maia - Aguiar de Sousa - Argoncilhe - Espinho 62
 IC 25  Ermida (IC24) - Paços de Ferreira - Lousada 20
 IC 26  Amarante (IP 4) - Régua - Lamego - Tarouca - Moimenta da Beira - Sernancelhe - Trancoso (IP2)  ?
 IC 27  Beja (IP2) - Mértola - Castro Marim (IP1) 93
 IC 28  Viana do Castelo (IC1) - Ponte de Lima - Lindoso 69
 IC 29  Oporto - Gondomar - Aguiar de Sousa (IC24) 16
 IC 30  Sintra (IC16) - Alcabideche (IC15)  ?
 IC 31  Castelo Branco (IP2) - Termas de Monfortinho 56
 IC 32  Funchalinho - Coina - Montijo 59
 IC 33  Sines - Grândola - Évora (IP8) 106
 IC 34  Vila Nova de Foz Côa (IP 2) - Almendra - Barca de Alva (border with Spain)  ?
 IC 35  Penafiel - Castelo de Paiva - Arouca - Vale de Cambra - Sever do Vouga  ?
 IC 36  Marinha Grande - Leiria (IP1)  ?
 IC 37  Viseu (IP5) - Nelas - Seia (IC7) 31

Estradas nacionais[edit]

Estradas nacionais (national routes) are the 1945 Plan's roads that were kept in the Complementary Network, usually as branches of IPs or ICs, to connect these to local destinations. In the 1985 Plan, these were generically referred as "other roads". They kept the same numbering they had in the 1945 Plan, with the prefix N, and they are administered by the agency Estradas de Portugal.

Most of the estradas nacionais are now roads of low importance (even those that were principal roads in the 1945 Plan), because over the last decades were passed over by the motorways, IP and IC routes.

Many of the 1945 Plan's estradas nacionais were transferred to the municipal authorities administration and are now not part of the National Roadway Network. However, most of these roads had its designation not changed, keeping its old numbering and the N prefix.

Estradas regionais[edit]

Signage in R254 (Évora-Viana do Alentejo).

Estradas regionais (regional roads) integrate the Regional Network. These road class was created in 1998, with the approval of 2000 National Roadway Plan. According Law n.º 222/98 "the public road communications with supra-municipal interest, and complementary to the National Road Network, are carried by Regional Roads".

Each regional road maintains the number of the national road or municipal road that originated it. Regional roads are represented by the letter R. Because, in 1998, it was rejected in a referendum, a reform which consisted of the creation of eight administrative regions in mainland Portugal, nowadays, some regional roads are administrated by Estradas de Portugal, while others are administrated by Portuguese municipalities.

Estradas municipais[edit]

Estradas municipais (municipal roads) are represented by the letter M, and they are administrated by Portuguese municipalities. These routes were created in 1961, and, over the years, many branches of national routes had been municipalized. Some municipal routes created by the 1985 Plan, were renamed as "national roads" or "regional roads" in the 2000 Plan.

Euro Routes[edit]

Portugal is crossed by some European Routes:

Number Route
 E 01  LarneBelfast - Newry - Dundalk - DroghedaDublinRosslareA CoruñaPontevedraValençaPortoLisbonAlbufeiraVila Real de Santo AntónioHuelvaSeville
 E 80  LisbonAveiroVilar FormosoValladolidBurgos - San SebastiánToulouseNiceGenoaRomePescaraDubrovnikPodgorica - PristinaNiš - SofiaPlovdiv - IstanbulİzmitGeredeAmasyaErzurumGürbulak – border with Iran
 E 82  OportoVila RealBragançaZamoraTordesillas
 E 90  LisbonÉvoraElvasMadridBarcelonaMazara del ValloPalermoMessinaReggio CalabriaMetapontoTarantoBrindisiIgoumenitsaIoannina - KozaniThessalonikiAlexandroupoliGeliboluLapsekiBursaAnkaraAdanaNusaybinKhabur River – border with Iraq
 E 801  VerínChavesVila RealLamegoViseuCoimbra
 E 802  BragançaGuardaCastelo BrancoPortalegreÉvoraBejaOurique
 E 805  FamalicãoGuimarãesVila Pouca de AguiarChaves
 E 806  Torres NovasAbrantesCastelo BrancoGuarda

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/1926/08/17500/09860993.pdf Decreto nº 12100 from August, 11th 1926 - Revision proposal of 1913 Road Classification
  2. ^ http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/1928/10/24700/21982209.pdf Decreto nº 16075 from October, 26th 1928 - Approval of road classification according to Decreto nº 12100
  3. ^ http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/1949/08/18400/05890623.pdf Lei nº 2037 from August 19th, 1949 - Estatuto das Estradas Nacionais (en: National Roads' Statutes)
  4. ^ http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/1961/08/19200/10291044.pdf Lei nº 2110 August 19th, 1961 - Regulamento Geral das Estardas e Caminhos Municipais (en: General Regulation on Municipal Roads and Pathways)
  5. ^ http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/1959/05/11501/05330588.pdf Decreto-Lei nº 42271 from May 20th, 1959 - Municipal Roads classification
  6. ^ http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/1964/01/02501/01170246.pdf Decreto-Lei nº 45552 from January 30th, 1964 - Municipal Pathways classification
  7. ^ Jorge Flores (June 2002). Sempre a subir. Automotor. (Portuguese)
  8. ^ Estradas de Portugal - PRN 2000 - Plano Rodoviário Nacional - Rede Rodoviária Nacional - AEs (IPs e ICs) (Portuguese)
  9. ^ Estradas de Portugal - PRN 2000 - Plano Rodoviário Nacional - Classificação da Rede - IPs
  10. ^ Estradas de Portugal - PRN 2000 - Plano Rodoviário Nacional - Classificação da Rede - ICs