Monday, October 22, 2007

The Bell Tolls For Thee or The Highway to Hell?

I'm wondering if Peter Lougheed has been reading my blog.

Back in May '07, I made the suggestion on this blog that Highway 63, that deathtrap of a road to Ft. McMurray should be a toll road, as it's mostly used by business anyway.

The provincial and federal government have already set aside millions for the road, but only 16km has been twinned south of Ft. Mac. There's hundreds of clicks to go, so why the delay?

Here is my quick project plan for twinning this road:

  1. Take out a big loan to pay for twinning the whole road. Oooh, I know, "debt" is such a bad word in Alberta, but the costs down the road would definitely overrun any interest incurred now.
  2. Immediately begin twinning construction with a tight project timeline (say 2 years).
  3. Open newly twinned road with a toll booth. I don't know the exact numbers, but let's say $20 each way.
  4. Over a period of time, road pays for itself (including debt interest) without any cost to the taxpayer. Maintenance costs (paving, snow removal, emergency response) all paid for by the toll.
Is that so hard?

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