In this letter, we propose a novel automatic algorithm for road extraction from remote sensing images. The algorithm includes low- and high-level processing. In the low-level processing, we determine a normalized second derivative map of road profiles of a generalized bar shape, which is width invariant and contrast proportional, and accordingly obtain initial road center pixels. In the high-level processing, using the map and initial center pixels, we initially determine road segments. The segments are then locally refined using their orientation randomness and length-to-width ratio and further refined via global graph-cut optimization. A final road network is thereby extracted in a robust manner. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm provides noticeably more robust and higher road extraction performance in various images compared with the existing algorithms.