While I was browsing on Google maps, I noticed that one of the boat routes has the classic road indicator on top of it.

If you search on google the name of the road E840, the summary Google shows from Wikipedia includes a strange description:

European route E 840 is a European B class road in Italy, connecting the cities Sassari – Civitavecchia. And according to Google Maps, crosses the Tyrrhenian Sea to Rome

I can confirm there isn't a 200km bridge between Olbia and Civitavecchia.

  • is it a ferry for cars? Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 11:32
  • I'm pretty sure gsnedders gave the actual answer here, below in a comment.
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


This happens in a number of places, due to the way European Routes are numbered. They're more of a concept than an actual road, and as such, they're often disconnected.

For example the E20 consists of several segments that would not normally be considered a "road":

  • a ferry between Dublin(IE) and Liverpool(UK)
  • a gap between Hull(UK) and Esbjerg(DK)
  • another ferry between Stockholm(SE) and Tallinn(EE).

Google Maps makes mistakes, and might mistakenly identify a ferry route as a road, but in your example, it seems to be properly marked.

  • Thanks, I didn't think it as a set of segments, but as a continuous normal road, now it makes a lot more sense Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 22:36
  • My TomTom considers the ferry between Calais and Dover to be a road as well. When I’m driving on or off the boat, it is shows me to be on the road already. It seems more useful than to be “driving in the sea”.
    – Belle
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 22:49
  • 11
    I believe when E20 was defined there was a ferry between Hull and Esbjerg, so the route originally was continuous.
    – gsnedders
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 1:10
  • Motorways of the Sea and all that... Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 11:18

It's because E 840 is a route, not necessarily a road.

You will find the same in Washington State where some Washington State Ferries carry route designaters as well such as between Southworth and Fauntleroy which is State Route 160.

Google Map of SR 160

  • 5
    State-run ferries, like in Washington and Alaska, are designated as state highways in order to qualify them for funding from highway system tax dollars (mainly from fuel taxes). Alaska calls their ferry system the "Alaska Marine Highway".
    – user71659
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 6:20
  • 5
    @user71659, it's called the "Marine Highway" because it's the only practical way to get a car from one place to another in much of coastal Alaska.
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 7:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .