October 15, 2008

Water Over the Bridge

What are the incentives for a State to investigate infrastructure failure, such as bridges and roads, and pay for their replacement?

What would the incentives be for a private company with ownership rights to those bridges or roads, funded by tolling?


Steve said...

A politician representing the district can brag up the road construction as something they got passed, whether it is true or not.

Really for a private company, it depends on the situation. There's a stretch of road I drive to get back to my hometown that is unbeliebably bumpy (although Wisconsin has started to fix it, one stretch at a time). But there is no other convenient way to go without traveling a bunch of miles out of my way and back-tracking on some lower-speed limit roads. If the road is one where they don't have any true alternatives, the incentive to fix the road is substantially less because you can't just build a competing road as easily as you might be able to jumpstart competition in some other businesses.

Eric Olsen said...

So, you're saying that even if a private company owned that bumpy road and put up a tolling booth, they still wouldn't have a real incentive to fix it, because you guys all have to use it anyway?

Eric Olsen said...

that track record would sure limit their future business ventures though, wouldn't it?

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