“In America’s early years, there was a perceived need for better roads – our Founders complained about bad roads. But states generally weren’t able to finance them. Among other things, people commonly used roads to leave their states! The states tried to fund road projects with lotteries, forced road service and land grants to contractors, but the schemes didn’t work.
Capital for road building was raised more efficiently by the private sector. The pioneering business seems to have been the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Corporation, chartered in 1792. For the first third of the 19th century, hundreds of private turnpike companies built thousands of miles of roads that linked western territories with the eastern seaboard. By 1821, 84 turnpike companies were incorporated in Pennsylvania, and 278 were incorporated in New York. Long distance roads were beyond the capability of any company, so work was divided among many companies that built connected roadways.”
I learned so much from this article.