Gore (road)

In road and highway construction a gore (or nose in modern British English)[1] is a triangular plot of land (as created when a road forks when intersecting a second road, or merges on and off from a larger one). A "virtual" (or "theoretical") gore is a triangular shaped space, characteristically marked off with distinguishing highway paint, often found leading to the unpaved area of a larger physical gore.

Highway exit gore in Gdańsk, Poland, with a transversely lined "theoretical gore", followed by a grassed physical one
Two diverging white lines demark the theoretical gore of this highway exit, with a grassed physical gore following it

The term "gore" (describing a space) is a historic one, representing a characteristically triangular piece of land, often created incidentally when two surveys failed to meet. Etymologically it is derived from gār, meaning spear.[2]

A theoretical gore is commonly marked with transverse or chevron painted lines (much as traffic islands) at both entrance and exit ramps. These help separate drivers on the mainline from those entering and exiting the highway, and also aid the latter category of drivers in regulating their speed while accelerating and decelerating. Gores at exit ramps occasionally feature impact attenuators, especially when something solid follows the theoretical or physical gore, such as a bridge abutment.

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  1. ^ "Design Manual for Roads and Bridges" (PDF). Feb 2006. p. 1/2.
  2. ^ Skeat, Walter William (1901). A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 218.

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