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US Road Dimensions

| June 24, 2013 5 Comments More

US RoadsI received an email late last week from one our readers here at Ztrains, asking about some specific American-style road dimensions. Nothing like getting it right from the horse’s mouth so I took my camera on the road, almost literally.

Here’s the road question from Ryan:

I am making a road on my Z scale layout and I am trying to figure out the dimensions for an American style road in Z. Would you happen to know the distance between the striped lines that go in the middle of road? Kind of a hyper-specific question, but I appreciate your response.

I love hyper-specific, so here we go starting with the basic dimensions of the nearest main road from me. I took a ruler along with my camera for the line measurements.

  • The total width of this two-lane road, shoulder edge to shoulder edge, is approximately 38 feet in width.
  • Each lane is 12 feet wide.
  • The road shoulders are 8 feet and 6 feet wide, these vary quite a bit in width.
  • The white striped lines separating the lanes from the shoulders are 6 inches wide.
  • The double yellow lines are between 5 and 6 inches wide each. I was surprised they varied this much.
  • The space between the double yellow lines is between 3.5 and 4.5 inches. Approximate due to road wear and line repainting.

Roads can vary in width, and as we see depending on how many coats of paint the lines have received, the line widths vary a bit as well. This section of road is called Route 25A, it’s on the North Shore of Long Island, NY. It’s considered a state highway and it alternates from 2 to 4 lanes along its 73 mile path from the Queens-Midtown Tunnel all the way out to Calverton, NY (near where the Long Island fork begins).

I was angrily honked at a couple of times but what the heck, it was in the name of Z scale accuracy! You can plug these numbers in to our Scratchbuilder’s Calculator for Z, or any other scale.

Scratchbuilder’s Calculator

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