The Super Highway: Re-Imagining Global Travel

Travellers in North America are eternally mourning the expense and difficulty of the journey to Europe. Despite the ease that air travel and Alaska car rentals has brought to global wandering, regular travellers always wonder if there’s a better way. Well, Russian officials have been wondering the same thing.

Not for the first time Russian officials have announced a proposal to create a “super highway” that would journey from North America to Europe. The most recent super highway that has been announced is one that would take the brave driver from New York City, through North America. At the tip of North America, they would cross from Alaska to Russia and finally end up in London, UK. But how plausible is this road? Is it likely to be available to those with Alaska car rentals any time soon? Avis Alaska car rentals got the dirt on Russia’s super highway proposal. Read on to find out more.

What is the super highway?

The super highway would be a 13, 000 mile highway stretching from New York City all the way to London, UK. The highway would likely be composed of road travel and either railways or ferries in order to cross the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia. The mastermind behind the plan has dubbed the structure the “Trans-Eurasian Belt Development.”

Who is behind the project?

Projects similar to the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development have been proposed in the past without success. This time, however, someone with a little more sway and power is behind the project. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s right hand man, Vladimir Yakunin, is the brains behind this development. As head of Russian Railways and alleged successor to the Presidential spot (hand-picked by President Putin himself), Yakunin is not just some government lackey.

Yakunin proposed the development at a meeting with the Russian Academy of Science. Since then, it has caused contentious debate about the feasibility of such a massive international project. Not only that, but also under debate is the popularity of the development. How many people will actually use this? Will anyone take cars – whether their own or Alaska car rentals – over such an arduous journey? Or will the money go to waste?

Will the Trans-Eurasian Belt come to fruition?

At this point in the project, anyone would be hard pressed to state for certain whether or not the belt will be built. Both sides of the debate have plenty of reasons to list whether it should or should not be built. Let’s take a look at both.

In North American culture, cash is king. With a project of such mighty proportions, the cost would be almost unbearable for most of the countries involved. Simply put – the Trans-Eurasian Belt would cost, as Yakunin put it, “trillions of dollars.” For richer countries like America, the development of roads costs a mere $3.6 million. For countries like Russia, however, the creation of the same infrastructure has a price tag as high as $31 million. When Russia is already struggling to fund domestic projects, is it really plausible that they will (or should) take on the overwhelming expense of global development?

But to every argument, there’s one just as strong to counter. Yakunin’s argument is that the development of this road would encourage expansion across Asia and Russia’s lesser-populated areas. Running parallel to the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Trans-Eurasian Belt would bring in more tourism to scarcely visited cities and possibly boost the population. Yakunin argues that this railway would be an opportunity for economic development.

Yet, the largest issue that nay-sayers have pointed out is the international component of the project. Russia and the U.S. have never been best buds, and the Trans-Eurasian Belt would require international co-operation from several western countries with Russia and Asia. Many believe such co-operation impossible, and that those who think otherwise are far too optimistic. Others could argue that such a project would be the ignition to finally create global peace.

It’s tough to say whether or not the project will ever be realized. If it does, it’s unlikely to be a journey that is realistic for Alaska car rentals, but who knows? Would you take the journey?

For a journey closer to home, reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis today.