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Turnpikes Heading Forward

Traveling along the roads throughout history has accumulated a certain set of rules of engagement. When travelers moved across the continent along trade routes between locations there was sometimes a tax to be paid for the use of that road or bridge. Toll roads are also known as toll gates, turnpikes, and tollways. Toll roads have existed for at least the last 2,700 years, as tolls had to be paid by travelers using the Susa–Babylon highway and Germanic tribes charged tolls to travelers across mountain passes. In the Middle Ages, widespread toll roads sometimes restricted traffic so much, due to the high tolls, that it interfered with trade and cheap transportation needed to alleviate local famines or shortages. Traditionally, tolls were paid by hand in cash at a toll gate. Early turnpikes consisted of a long, horizontal cross of timber that turned on a vertical pin

In the United States the first toll roads were created from buffalo and Native American trails that were developed and expanded into the roads we use today. According to the Department of Transportation, in 1792, the first turnpike was chartered and became known as the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike in Pennsylvania. As road development increased throughout history, with the importance of increasing transportation capabilities within the continent of the United States, the federal government created the Office of Road Inquiry in 1893 to assist in the management of road construction. "Later, this infant agency grew to help finance road construction (Post Office Appropriation Act of 1912), the beginning of Federal-aid roads."

It wasn't until after the increase of the availability of the automobile, from around 1945 to 1955, many States in the United States began to build State turnpikes on their primary long-distance travel corridors in increasing numbers. The process of building roads was very expensive. The Boston-Newburyport Turnpike, was 32 miles long and cost approximately $12,500 per mile to construct. In an attempt to finance the building and maintenance of roads, without raising taxes, the state legislatures began granting charters to private turnpike companies.

Turnpike companies collect tolls at toll plazas, toll booths, toll houses, toll stations, toll bars, toll barriers, or toll gates. In recent years with the development of technology such as incorporating the use of cameras, some toll collection points are automatic, and the user deposits money in a machine which opens the gate once the correct toll has been paid. Now toll ways incorporate electronic toll collection with a transponder, automatically deducting an account, and this reduces toll collection costs as well as time delay.

Toll way signs are necessary to direct traffic and notify drivers of turnpikes along the road. Although turnpikes are not well received by the public, they are necessary for the long-term maintenance and construction for the roads we travel on. With the new infrastructure bill the ultimate impact of the bill on infrastructure projects depends on federal guidance, rule making and decisions on awarding grants, as well as state and local government choices regarding how the funds are allocated and leveraged. From tollways to the use of mass transit to reduce carbon foot-print, each state decides which direction they want to go. However with the increase of electronic toll collection, the needs for changes in signs will also be needed.

Interstate Signways is the leading manufacturer of large-scale road signs in the United States. We have over 50 years' experience fabricating toll way signs all across the United States. We have the staff, equipment, and unique touch to create your signs for your upcoming infrastructure project while adhering to Department of Transportation standards. All of our signs are certified and warranted. When you are in need of quality American made signs with American sourced materials with experience and precision we are the ones to choose. Call us for a quote today!

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