Toll roads in history

  Toll roads are not modern inventions. If you had been in a camel caravan arriving in the Middle Eastern city of Petra, over 2,000 years ago, you would have paid a stiff toll before leaving the city.
  About this time the Romans built a network of highways extending from the Wall of Hadrian in northern England to the Persian Gulf. Roads were kept in repair by the collection of tolls at the city gates. Many of the roads were still in use in the Middle Ages.
  In medieval times some tolls were colIected by barring the road with a pike, or pole, and then turning the pike
to allow the traveler to pass. Early in the development of the North Ameri­can colonies, prĂ­vate companies built "turnpikes" and charged travelers tolls to use them. Now the government gives money to the states for road construction, and each state collects the tolls.
  Rivers and canals have also provided natural opportunities for toll stations. By the year 1300, there were more than 35 places along the Rhine River, in Germany, where fees were collected. In England there was a charge for passage both over and under London Bridge. Today, ships pay tolls to go through the Welland Canal in Canada, as well as through the Suez and Panama canals.