Kazakhstan Road Network

By | October 31, 2022

Due to the enormous distances and the fact that the country is extremely sparsely populated, there are few roads. After 2010, Kazakhstan has significantly modernized the road network, with approximately 2,500 kilometers of motorway built in the period 2010-2020. However, not all Kazakh highways have a consistent design and sub-standardelements are common. The vast distances and general desolation of the country make travel dangerous, especially since fuel is not as readily available every 50 kilometers as in Europe. The quality of the roads is reasonable, although they often have frost damage in the spring. Kazakhstan has a bitter climate with very cold winters and hot summers, which affect the quality of the road surface. The long-distance roads are single-lane and you can get along quite well because of the lack of built-up areas. The major cities are far apart. In and around major cities, such as Almaty and Astana, there are grade-separated intersections, as well as multi-lane boulevards. Traffic can be hectic here, and most Kazakhs drive large off-road vehicles. Almaty and Astana have a ring road,

According to wholevehicles, Kazakhstan has developed the Western Europe – Western China mega project, an east-west route that follows the M32 and A2. This road has been expanded with 2×2 lanes and is largely grade-separated, but also has sporadic at-grade intersections or U-turns. The road is of reasonable quality, so new bypasses have been built around many places instead of widening the existing route. A more than 1,400 kilometer stretch from Kyzylorda to the border with China at Khorgos has been widened to 2×2 lanes.

Road management

The national road authority is QazAvtoJol (QAJ). QAJ manages 24,400 kilometers of road, about 20 percent of all roads in Kazakhstan. Since 2013, QAJ also manages the toll roads. There is also the road manager Kazavtodor. Kazavtodor manages 19,955 kilometers of road, including 958 kilometers of toll road. In August 2022, it was decided that both entities would merge.

Motorways

Motorway

Highway

A number of corridors have been developed as motorways, often with 2×2 lanes, but some routes also have 2×3 lanes.

The main highway routes

  • M32: Kyzyl-Orda – Shymkent
  • M36: Karagandy – Astana
  • A1: Astana – Shchuchinsky
  • A2: Khorgos – Almaty
  • A2: Almaty – Shymkent
  • A3: Almaty – Taldykorgan
  • A17 / R4: Astana – Pavlodar
  • Ring Astana (R10)
  • BAKAD (Ring Almaty)

Main roads

Highways in Kazakhstan
M32 • M36 • M38 • M39 • M51A1 • A2 • A3 • A4 • A5 • A6 • A7 • A8 • A9 • A10 • A11 • A12 • A13 • A14 • A15 • A16 • A17 • A18 • A19 • A20 • A21 • A22 • A23 • A24 • A25 • A26 • A27 •A28 • A29 • A30 • A31 • A32 • A33 • A34 • A35 • A36

European roads

European roads in Kazakhstan
E38 • E40 • E121 • E123 • E125 • E127 • E004 • E011 • E012 • E013 • E014 • E015 • E016 • E018 • E019

Asian Highways

Asian Highways in Kazakhstan
AH5 • AH6 • AH7 • AH9 • AH60 • AH61 • AH62 • AH63 • AH64 • AH67 • AH68 • AH70 • AH81

Toll Roads in Kazakhstan

There were four different toll roads in Kazakhstan in 2019. The first toll road opened in 2013 and was the Astana to Schuchinsk motorway. In 2019, three toll roads were added.

  • A1 Astana – Schuchinsk (211 km), road category 1a, 2×3 lanes
  • M36 Astana – Temirtau (134 km), road category 1a, 2×2 lanes
  • A3 Almaty – Kapchagay (42 km), road category 1a, 2×3 lanes
  • A2 Almaty – Khorgos (295 km), road category 1b, 2×2 lanes

Various electronic toll products are offered in Kazakhstan. The electronic toll system is called Payway, In addition, the payment platforms Kaspi, Kassa24, Qiwi, Wooppay and Cyberplat are used. Payway’s transponders are only available for vehicles with a Kazakh license plate. In 2014, the average toll for a passenger car was only 1 tenge (€0.005) per kilometre.

It is planned that by 2020 about a third of Kazakhstan’s main road network will be tolled. It was later stated that tolls would have to be paid on 5,800 kilometers of road in 2020, extended to 11,000 kilometers of road in 2024.

Road numbering

Kazakhstan, like the other Central Asian countries, still used the Soviet numbering system for a long time. As a result, cross-border roads usually had the same M or A number. The numbers only changed at the borders with Russia and China, since 2011 Russia has also renumbered the road network and there are no longer any cross-border M-roads. Since 2000, an E-numbering system has been in effect in Kazakhstan. In addition to the existing E-routes, such as the E40 ending in Kazakhstan, newer 3-digit numbers have been added. These are almost never indicated in practice.

New road numbering

Kazakhstan still used the old Soviet road numbering, which was not immediately changed after becoming independent in 1991. Some sources speak of a renumbering in the year 2000, others only from 2011. In 2011, new A numbers were introduced that are not based on the Soviet numbering and overlap or replace a number of existing A routes. However, the old Soviet M-roads largely survived. The Soviet A-numbering system was discontinued completely. In addition, there are regional roads with the prefix “P” and local roads with the prefix “K”.

M-roads

Of the M roads, all Soviet numbers except the M39 have been preserved. The M39 is only defined on the part between Tashkent and Termez that runs through Kazakhstan. This road can no longer be driven through, traffic within Uzbekistan bypasses this part. The old M39 from Almaty via Bishkek and Shymkent and Tashkent is no longer numbered as such, it has become the A2 globally, although today’s A2 is partially substantially different from the historic M39.

# Route Length
M32 Russian border – Uralsk – Aktobe – Kyzlylorda – Shymkent 2037 km
M36 Russian border – Kostanay – Astana – Karaganda – Almaty 2047 km
M38 Russian border – Pavlodar – Semey – Maykapshagai – China border 1081 km
M39 Border Uzbekistan (from Tashkent) – border Uzbekistan (to Termez) 24 km
M51 Border Russia – Petropavlovsk – border Russia 190 km

A-roads

List of new A-roads in Kazakhstan:

# Route Length
A1 Astana – Kokshetau – Petropavlovsky 452 km
A2 UZ – Shymkent – Taraz – Almaty – PRC 1197 km
A3 Almaty – Ust-Kamenogorsk 1036 km
A4 Almaty – Agash – KGZ 132 km
A5 Aksay – Kolchat – PRC 160 km
A6 Koklek – Kegen – KGZ 115 km
A7 Usharal – Dostyik 184 km
A8 Taskesken – Bachty – PRC 187 km
A9 Ust-Kamenogorsk – Leninogorsk – RUS 167 km
A10 Ust-Kamenogorsk – Shemonancha – RUS 120 km
A11 Semipalatinsk – RUS 111 km
A12 Petropavlovsk – Sokolovka – RUS 62 km
A13 Kokshetau – Kishkenekol-Vidaikskiy – RUS 278 km
A14 Taraz – KGZ 14 km
A15 Zhizak – Gagarin – Zhetysay – Kirovskiy – Kyzylasker-Saryagash – Abay – Zhibekzholy – UZ 221 km
A16 Zhezkazgan – Petropavlovsky 940 km
A17 Kyzylorda – Pavlodar-Uspenka – RUS 1509 km
A18 Pavloda – Sherbakty – RUS 112 km
A19 Kachiry – Mikhaylovka – RUS 108 km
A20 Karaganda – Ayaguz – Tarbagatay-Bugaz 921 km
A21 Mamlyutka – Kostanay 398 km
A22 Karabutak – Komsomolskoye – Denisovka – Rudnyy – Kostanay 541 km
A23 Denisovka – Zhitinkara – Myuktikol – RUS 142 km
A24 Aktobe – Martuk – RUS 102 km
A25 Aktobe – RUS 127 km
A26 Kandygash – Emba – Shalkar – Irgiz 401 km
A27 Aktobe – Atyrau – RUS 871 km
A28 Uralsk – Atyrau 487 km
A29 Uralsk – Kamena – RUS 100 km
A30 Podstenoye – Federovka – RUS 144 km
A31 Chapayevo – Zhaliaktal – Kaztalovka – RUS 213 km
A32 Uralsk – Teloye – RUS 28 km
A33 Dossor – Kulsary – Beyneu – Say – Utes – Shetpe – Zhetybay – Aktau 798 km
A34 Zhetybay – Zhanauzen – Fetisovo – TM 237 km
A35 Aktau – Kuryk 59 km
A36 Kuryk – Zhetybay 64 km

R-roads

The regional roads are numbered with the Cyrillic prefix “P”, actually the R. This numbering includes important regional roads, many of which are several hundred kilometers long, but also a whole series of bypasses, ring roads and access roads to tourist locations. There is no clear system of numbering, most R numbers are located in the central part of Kazakhstan and few in the west. The numbers above 50 are often less important and were probably added to the road numbering later.

# Route Length
R1 Beyneu – Akzhigit (UZ) 84 km
R2 Astana – Korgalzhyn 161 km
R3 Astana – Kabanbai Batyr – Enthusiastic – Kievka – Temirtau 250 km
R4 Astana – Ereimentau – Shiderty 238 km
R5 Pavlodar Western Bypass 15 km
R6 Makinsk – Aksu – Torgay 235 km
R7 Borovsk resort area 66 km
R8 Shchuchinsk – Zerenda 80 km
R9 access to Vyacheslavksy Reservoir 17 km
R10 Astana Ring Road 71 km
R11 Kokshetau – Ruzayevka 196 km
R12 Kokshetau – Atbasar 184 km
R13 Zhaksy – Esil – Buzuluk 82 km
R14 Kokshetau Bypass 18 km
R15 Kegen – Narynkolo 89 km
R16 Zhalanash – Saty-Kurmetty – Kolsai Lake 89 km
R17 Almaty – Talgar – Baidibek bi 68 km
R18 Kapshagay – Kurty 67 km
R19 Mezhdurechenskoye – Baiserke 52 km
R20 Saryozek – Koktal 192 km
R21 Entrance to Alma Tau 15 km
R22 Almaty – Kosmostania 37 km
R23 Semey – Kainar 276 km
R24 Ust-Kamenogorsk – Semey 195 km
R25 Ust-Kamenogorsk – Altai – Ulken – Naryn – Katon – Karagai – Rahmanovkie Klyuchy 446 km
R26 Maykapkshagai – Kalzhyr – Markakol 124 km
R27 Kalkaman – Bayanaul – Umutker – Botakara 324 km
R28 Entrance to Karasai batyr 24 km
R29 Merke – Burylbaital 266 km
R30 Shu – Kainar 56 km
R31 Kentau – Turkestan – Arystanbab – Shaulder – Tortkol 30 km
R32 Shymkent Northern Bypass 37 km
R33 Mukur – Kulsary 136 km
R34 Zhairem – Karazhal – Atasu 144 km
R35 Akchatau – Agadyr – Ortau 195 km
R36 Kostanay – Auliekol – Surgan 257 km
R37 Bastau – Aktau – Temirtau 53 km
R38 Kostanay – Karabutak 6 km
R39 Kostana Bypass 21 km
R40 Makhambet – Kamit Ergaliev 45 km
R41 Leninsky – Irtyshk – Russkaya Polyana 264 km
R42 Entrance to Kabankai Batyr 4 km
R43 Rudny Bypass 7 km
R44 Kaztalovka – Zhanibek – border Russia 165 km
R45 Leninsky – Aksu – Koktobe – Bolshoi Akzhar – Kurchatov 220 km
R46 Entrance to Shuchinsko-Borovsk 9 km
R47 Karasu 18 km
R48 Entrance Alatau FEZ 10 km
R49 Petropavlovsk Bypass 30 km
R50 Aktobe Northern Bypass 39 km
R51 Unige – Bisen – Sayhin 103 km
R52 access road Novy Koluton – Akkol – Minskoye 5 km
R53 Entrance to T. Ryskulov 31 km
R54 access to Karaganda 16 km
R55 Entrance to Ereimentau 36 km
R56 Entrance to Khan Orda 21 km
R57 “Петерфельд – Архангельск – Новокаменка – республиканская дорога А-16 “Жезказган – Петропавлоск” 31 km
R58 Bulaevo – Vozvyshenka – Molodogvardeyskoe – Kirovo – Kiyaly – Roshinskoe 228 km
R59 Roshinskoe – Korneevka – Voloshinka 87 km
R60 Voloshinka – Sergeevka – Timeryazevo 119 km
R61 Timiryazevo – Sarykol – regional border 32 km
R62 access to Petropavlovsky Airport 5 km

Signage

Kazakhstan uses the now very outdated Soviet signage. Road numbers are not always indicated, and the signs are usually in Russian (Cyrillic), although destinations are indicated on the main routes in English.

There is also a newer generation of signposts, distinguishing between white (local), blue (non-local) and green (motorway) destinations. This is by no means always in English, although there are cases where signage is in both Kazakh and Russian, which at first glance appears to be the same because Kazakh differs little from Russian. The signposts are usually in capital script (capital letters).

Due to the enormous distances, destinations over 1,000 kilometers away are no exception. For example, the Russian city of Samara is indicated more than 2,000 kilometers in advance. Kazakhstan is a member of the Vienna and Geneva conventions and therefore uses the well-known European road signs.

Motorways

Around 2010, new signage seems to have been introduced, for example on the A-343 Almaty – Petropavlovsk, which according to signage also bears the number A-1. The new signage is green with white capital letters in both Kazakh and English. Targets that can be reached via exit ramps are indicated in blue boxes.

Maximum speed

In Kazakhstan, the speed limit is 60 km/h in built-up areas and 100 km/h outside of it. In built-up areas there are also areas where the maximum speed is 20 km/h.

Until 2009, a maximum of 90 km/h was allowed outside built-up areas and 110 km/h on motorways. Since then, modern motorways have been built in parts of Kazakhstan, increasing the speed limit on motorways to 120 km/h in 2009 and further increasing it to 140 km/h in 2014.

Kazakhstan Road Network