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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Alaska Marine Toll Ferry

By Patrick Jirschele


January 04, 2016
Monday PM

We have to pay to take the Alaska Marine Highway. We pay a toll. The toll for two people and a nineteen foot car from Bellingham to Ketchikan is $1204 or about $1.80 a mile. Ketchikan to Wrangell is $101 or a toll of $2.06 a mile. Wrangell to Petersburg, $3.40 a mile. Petersburg to Juneau about $3.00 per mile.

The Alaska Marine Toll Highway is expected to pay for itself. Ferries are expensive to build, operate and maintain. The new ships will cost $60 million each.

Of course roads aren't cheap either. The three miles of road built on Gravina a few years ago cost about $8.5 million per mile. So for the cost of one ferry, we could build about seven miles of highway.

If the State is hurting for money, why only pick on the Alaska Marine Toll Highway and not others. Why not a toll on the Glenn Highway, or the Parks Highway, or the Sterling or Richardson? A couple of dollars a mile would go a long way toward paying for guard rails, snow removal, police, resurfacing, and other maintenance. If that isn't enough shut down the highways, on say Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the same way the State is going to reduce the number of ferry sailings to some communities.

We are a big State, the low oil prices are affecting us all, we should all share the burden equally.

Patrick Jirschele
Pennock Island, Alaska

About:"Lived, worked and played in Ketchikan since 1980."

Received January 00, 2016 - Published January 04, 2015


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