Who Will Build Roads If Not Government?   3 comments

Who would build the roads? How about companies that benefit from access to markets?


An argument is often made that if you did away with government, you would have no roads, or very poorly maintained roads with expensive tolls because private industry wouldn’t take care of them. BS!

Image result for image of alaska marine highway

There is money to be made in moving stuff around, so roads (and other means of transportation) would still exist, just funded by the people who want and use them.

Consider Alaska, which has a unique transportation system because 80% of our communities are not accessible by road. Thus, the State of Alaska operates the Alaska Marine Highway System and Federal Highways treats it like a highway for funding purposes. The argument is made that, should the State of Alaska stop operating the AMHS, the communities that currently rely on it would have no access to the outside world. BS!

Image result for image of coastal transportation, incLast week, AMHS announced that the Tustumena was delayed at the Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard for two…

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Posted April 30, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

3 responses to “Who Will Build Roads If Not Government?

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  1. I can see how commercial interests would keep roads operable. In turn they would likely turn it into a toll road. US tolls are very reasonable as they are government run. But commercially run roads could result in hefty tolls if the 407 Commision is an indicator. For us to choose the 407 toll road to cross Toronto would cost me about 50 cents a kilometer (80 cents a mile). The situation would be worse if there wasn’t an alternate route.


    • There are a fair number of toll roads in the US that are commercially owned-operated. About 2,200 currently. In fact, pretty much all the public highways in the eastern states started out as privately-owned highways. They were transferred to the government when they couldn’t compete with canals and railroads. The Chicago Skyway had lost money for decades until it was leased out to a private entity and is now making a profit. Most don’t do as well which I think has a lot to do with the continued interference of government in the operations both as a regulator and as a backdoor funder.

      A lot of these privately-own toll roads connect business parks or housing developments to the road system and those tend to turn a profit without being overly priced.


      • We take roads as we see them today for granted. But to realize it’s a development with a history.
        I live along the north shore of Lake Ontario. There’s highway 2 which is a provincial highway that runs parallel to the lake and extends along the whole east west length of the lake. Prior to that there was a military road that runs from Toronto, previously called York, to Kingston which is at the east end of the lake. The road was named The Danforth. Today there are only random sections of this road still in use.
        Most recently (60 years ago) a divided highway runs through this area and spans from Windsor (across from Detroit) to Montreal. It’s the longest toll free divided highway in North America – now one of the busiest highways in North America. Blessings and curses.


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