Federal Roads, roads administered by the Federal Government. According to the Federal Constitutional Law of 1971, roads carrying a large volume of daily traffic; they comprise Autobahnen (A), Schnellstrassen (S) and Bundesstrassen (B). Basically, federal roads are a federal responsibility; their planning, construction and maintenance has, however, been entrusted to local authorities.
The Austrian network of federal roads (1993) covers some 12,000 km (Autobahnen 1,565 km; Schnellstrassen 293 km; Bundesstrassen 10,000 km). Federal roads make up 6 % of the Austrian road network and carry slightly more than 60 % of daily traffic.
While designed to complement international routes, the Austrian road system aims at both providing easy access to infrastructurally backward regions and ensuring access to remote populated regions and industrial areas. Federal roads also comprise major roads in cities and towns.
In recent years, Austria has been developing a network of cycling paths, park and ride systems and pedestrian zones in city centres (by-passes have been built to take heavy traffic away from city and town centres) and has thus tried to satisfy the needs of road users while making transport policy an integral part of environmental policy.
Austrian engineers are highly renowned internationally in the field of road construction; Austria´s topography has required the construction of big bridges and tunnels. At present, the Austrian federal road network counts over 10,000 bridges and 180 tunnels (with a total length of almost 200 km).