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Detour sign used in Singapore
Detour sign used in the United States

A detour or (British English: diversion) is a (normally temporary) route taking traffic around an area of prohibited or reduced access, such as a construction site. Detours must be followed and failure to do so may result in fines.[1][not in citation given] Standard operating procedure for many roads departments is to route any detour over roads within the same jurisdiction as the road with the obstructed area.[2]

On multi-lane highways (e.g. freeways, expressways, city streets, etc.), usually traffic shifts can be utilized in lieu of a detour as turn lanes can often be congested with detours.

Permanently signed detour routes[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Section 6C.09
  2. ^ Example: Dits, Joseph (2011-04-19). "Capital Ave. to be closed at railroad tracks in Mishawaka for a week" (fee required). South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-20. The state will erect signs that take car traffic on a detour all the way through downtown South Bend – a longer detour than local residents could figure out – because the state has to use state roads, said InDOT spokesman Jim Pinkerton.