The tradition of collecting fares for transporting goods by road started many centuries ago. With the advent of cars, it has become especially relevant. Toll roads have many more advantages compared to conventional highways. They are more reliable, safer, more convenient, and faster. Plus, they are equipped with a more developed infrastructure.
At the same time, you have to pay for all these pleasures. It can sometimes be quite a lot of money, which can be a surprise, especially if it’s your first time on that route. We’ve prepared for you a digest of the most expensive toll highways in the world.
You’ll find out where they are and what they are famous for and if you are looking for a car, check car auctions open to the public near you, in every state.
Pennsylvania Turnpike in the USA
The interstate highway is around 360 miles (580 km) long, connecting Ohio and New Jersey. It was built in the 1930s to improve road communication between the states and was completed in 1956, including a bridge across the Delaware River.
This highway is not only the most expensive toll highway in the US but also in the world, costing over $200 for trucks and around $110–115 for passenger cars as of the beginning of 2023, depending on the entry and exit points.
The high fare is due to its long length, with an average cost of 30 cents per mile. Electronic payment options, such as bank cards or license plate recognition, are available.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria
One of the most beautiful alpine roads in Austria is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which features 36 turns and passes through the Alps north of Italy. Originally built for practical purposes, the road opened in 1935 but became less popular in the 1960s and 1970s. However, in the following decades, it gained popularity as a tourist route, prompting authorities to widen it to increase traffic flow.
Please note that the road is only open during the warm season, typically from late April or early May until winter. As of the beginning of 2023, a day ticket for a passenger car costs €40 before 6:00 PM and €30 after, while freight transport is priced between €50 and €130.
Confederation Bridge in Canada
The largest bridge connecting Prince Edward Island and the mainland was opened in May 1997 and is approximately 13 km long, setting a record for bridges installed over ice-covered water bodies.
The fare for the bridge depends on the type of transportation and the number of axles, including a round-trip ticket to Prince Edward Island, regardless of the entry point. The fare for vehicles with two axles is $50.25, and each additional axle, including the trailer, costs $8.5. Payments can be made with cash or bank cards.
The Center of London, UK
In 2003, the city officials of Great Britain’s capital introduced a toll system for drivers traveling through its historic city center on weekdays from Monday to Friday. The objective was to alleviate traffic congestion and generate funds for transportation infrastructure.
This city toll system is currently the most expensive in both the country and the world, with rates reaching up to $16. Failure to pay or delayed payments are subject to hefty fines, starting at $90.
The Great Saint Bernard Tunnel in Italy and Switzerland
The Great Saint Bernard Tunnel is located between Italy and Switzerland, named after the pass of the same name, and connects the Swiss town of Martigny with the Italian commune of Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses.
The tunnel, which is around 3,600 miles (near 5,800 km) long, was opened in 1964 and has visors protecting the exits on both sides from snow avalanches, allowing it to operate in winter. The fare varies depending on the type of vehicle and can reach $45.
Fort Bend Parkway in Texas, USA
The two-lane freeway is the southern portion of the toll road between Sienna in eastern Fort Bend County and the main southbound highway, US Route 90. This is essentially a small 7.4 miles (12 km) section before entering the Beltway.
To drive on it, each driver must pay $4, which is about 30 cents per kilometer. The high fee is explained by the amount of funds invested in the construction of the road. In addition, high costs are required to maintain the highway in good condition.
The 17-Mile Road in California, USA
This is a picturesque drive along the Pacific coast of California and the main highway through Pebble Beach. Tourists, vacationers, and those who don’t reside in the resort town must pay a mandatory toll to use the road, which today averages $9 per mile or approximately 34 cents per kilometer.
In conclusion, toll roads play a crucial role in modern transportation infrastructure by providing a reliable means of generating revenue to fund the construction and maintenance of roads. While tolls can be a source of inconvenience for some drivers, they have proven to be a necessary measure in ensuring safe and efficient travel on many of the world’s most expensive and scenic routes.
As populations continue to grow and cities become more congested, it is likely that toll systems will continue to expand and evolve to meet the changing needs of travelers around the world.