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France’s Millau Viaduct is a mile-and-a-half long and taller than the Eiffel Tower. Built solely with private money. I’m sure you’ll say it’s the exception that proves the rule.

14 Responses to “Nope, It Can Only Be Done by the Government”

  1. Brian Dunbar says:

    I’m sure you’ll say it’s the exception that proves the rule.

    Whatever it is – it is a right pretty hunk of bridge.

  2. david s says:

    Some searching on the Internet indicates that the French government was involved in the planning and design of this project.
    Of course, those could be lies planted by communist agents.

  3. economist says:

    Tons of bridges are built by private companies:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Bridge_Company

    I don’t see what the big deal is

  4. TC says:

    Blah a 300 million toll bridge to make a so called statement.

    The PGBT super connector in north texas ( 5.4 miles ) cost more than this, look local next time to make a point , maybe the picture is not as pretty, but if you need a picture to make an argument , oh well

  5. Evan Harper says:

    Way to show all those people who say bridges can only be built by the government! Whoever they are.

    (Also: this thing was built and paid for a private firm in return for a heavily regulated lease from the French government…)

  6. Kopfschlaeger says:

    The exception that proves the rule MEANS the exception that TESTS the rule. If private enterprise can/will do this, what happens to the rule? I think it gives one reason to reduce its status.

  7. efp says:

    No, an “exception that proves the rule” means something entirely different, which makes no sense in this context. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exception_that_proves_the_rule

  8. frederick says:

    Milau Viaduct is a public pirvate partnership. 75 year government concession with guarantees.

  9. Michael says:

    Why not a horse or a chicken or something. Loved the Marx Bros. reference, David.

  10. mulp says:

    The bridge was a government project, designed under government contract, build under a government construction and lease contract, connecting two segments of a government freeway which provides the sole reason for the bridge existing.

    And in 2080, this viaduct will be solely owned by the people of France, free and clear, unless they continue encumbering it with a new contract for collecting tolls to pay for maintenance of upgrades to the bridge.

    The bridge came into being as a consequence of the A75 government project begun in 1975 to speed traffic to the south of Paris. If capitalists had the foresight of government they would have begin building it as a toll road in say 1700 or 1800 or 1850 or 1900 or 1950 with the expectations of the return on investment over the following century or five centuries? But few capitalists undertake projects that require more than a lifetime to recover the required investment.

    But such projects have high risk of total loss because the time horizon to break even is too long. For example, the Panama Canal, or the Chunnel, two projects smaller than the A75 with this viaduct, which each bankrupted multiple corporations.

  11. Edgaras says:

    Everything is built by private people. Government just steals money to finance it. That’s why many (if not most) extreme engineering projects are related to the governments, because they have the monopoly on all the money (only they can print them). They don’t suffer from failure either, so they care less than true private companies.

  12. The reason government is better at building these kinds of projects is because government doesn’t have a limited source of funds. So when a project like the Big Dig goes in, and it costs almost ten times more, the government just keeps on spending. The alternative would be for person A to admit to person B’s failure, only person A is going to catch all the heat for it. So they don’t. Look at Christie’s attempt to stop throwing good money after bad into the Hudson tunnel project.

  13. Chris says:

    I’d like to hear the author’s response to the commenters’ discussion of government involvement.

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