Did you know that there were over 64 million kilometers of road across the world in 2018? As the demand for transport services increases, more people build roads to connect different regions and improve the quality of life.

Constructing a road involves installing selected materials on a defined path to make it smoother for vehicles to operate. While this is the key process, there are other important steps involved in the construction.

Are you interested in learning more about how to build a road? Continue reading for the ultimate guide on the planning and designing process, getting the relevant permits, and estimating costs.


The first step in building a road is planning. This process involves evaluating the current and future traffic patterns to determine the infrastructure needed. It also includes comparing the costs against the benefits to gauge if the project will deliver the intended results.

More steps in the planning process are:

  • Determining the type of road needed
  • Confirming if you will include pavements
  • Understanding how the local environment will affect the selected construction material

Once you determine each of these aspects, the next step is to draw a layout. Besides, meet with stakeholders like public representatives and engineers to determine critical things like funding and create a schedule for the construction process.

Getting Permits

When constructing a road, you need to consider your neighborhood. Most regions require you to get a permit from either the local authority or the transport department.

If you want to build a private road, you must also acknowledge that the municipality is not liable for injuries. Other than that, seek written construction approval from the local homeowner’s association.

Another permit you may need to build a road is from the fire department. This one shows that you allow them to use the infrastructure to access specific houses or turn around during an emergency.

The Process of Building a Road

Constructing a road first requires preparing the path you will be working on by demarcating it. Then, lay a foundation and install the necessary structural parts like bridges. The next phase is earthwork, which is the most labor-intensive construction step.

This one involves removing the topsoil and grading the surface to expose the layer beneath. The next procedures are:

  • Excavation
  • Spraying water and compacting the soil
  • Applying sand wicks if needed
  • Installing drains

After working on the drainage system, the following phases will depend on the selected construction material. For example, if you use gravel, the cheapest way to build a road, you’ll need to spray it with water and compact it using a roller.

You may then add bitumen to seal all layers and strengthen the surface. The last step in building a gravel road is using thermoplastic road marking to control and guide traffic.

Cost to Build a Road

The cost of building a road will differ depending on the environment. It may also vary according to the number of layers and the materials used.

You are likely to incur about $1.25-$1.80 to build one square foot of gravel driveway. On the other hand, constructing one lane of a typical road costs about $3.1 to $9.1 million for one mile.

Learn More About How to Build a Road

If you are thinking about road construction, it’s important to understand the process beforehand. Further, consult professionals when budgeting, determining the material to use, and designing. For more information about how to build a road and maintain it, browse this page now.