You should be able find some answers here - in a similar thread.
What is the difference between highway, expressway, freeway?
Do they all mean the same thing while freeway has free of charge?
What's unclear about SoothingDave's explanation?
1) a main road, which simply connects towns and villages, that is not a limited access road; it can be any main road
2) a limited access road, which is basically built for long-distance traffic, also to avoid towns (in this sense you could also use freeway and expressway with little, if any, difference. In British English you'd use 'motorway')
Last edited by nyota; 12-May-2011 at 00:51.
In the United States, the term freeway is used nationwide. In some regions of the U.S., other terms are also used, including expressway, Interstate Highway, thruway, highway, and turnpike. While some people use these terms interchangeably, turnpikes and thruways usually have associations with toll roads, such as the New Jersey Turnpike, Ohio Turnpike, Pennsylvania Turnpike, West Virginia Turnpike, Florida's Turnpike, and the New York State Thruway.
Consequently, the term freeway is often used to refer to a toll-free highway as opposed to its original meaning – in which the component "free" implies freedom from traffic interference rather than "at no cost" – still used in other countries and in parts of the U.S.
In the United States, an expressway is defined by the federal government’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as a divided highway with partial control of access. In contrast, a freeway is defined as a divided highway with full control of access. More here, scroll down to the bottom of the page.
The vast majority of expressways are built by state governments, or by private companies, which then operate them as toll roads pursuant to a license from the state government.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by nyota; 12-May-2011 at 01:37.