Source: Adapted from Dr. William Anderson, University of Windsor.
The Effect of a Border on a Transportation Network
National transportation networks are usually independently
established and connected to other networks on an ad hoc basis.
Comprehensive international infrastructure projects are uncommon
since they require advanced forms of cooperation. The above figure shows a hypothetical
transportation network that is bisected by a border. Since the
facilities needed for border inspections are expensive to build and
maintain, there are usually only a few (in this case two) crossings,
creating a few links that are subject to congestion and making the
whole network vulnerable to the disruption of those links. Naturally
this problem is exacerbated when a river forms the border because
each crossing requires bridge, tunnel or ferry infrastructure, which
are also expensive to build and maintain. For this reason, the goal
of complete elimination of border facilities can also lead to more
highly connected transportation networks. The most relevant example
is the European Union with its Trans-European Transport Networks
(TEN-T) strategy, aiming at improving connectivity through
multimodal infrastructure investments.