Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions



by Rob Glenn


February 06, 2005

In response to the letter about Gravina Island..... On national television our little town of Ketchikan only known for its cruise ship tourism was mentioned because of the pork barrel spending for this bridge... how sad is that?

If there was a recent vote taken and the majority of Alaskans in SE wanted roads I would totally shut up, however; there are so far a number of communities who have said they don't want roads. Residents of Sitka were heard on Alaska Public Radio saying they are not interested. Skagway blocked an area the road would have traveled through placing a park in the way. Is it just me or are these roads being pushed down peoples throats? I realize there are people who want roads, and that is fine, but is it the majority?

Instead of building roads why don't we maintain the ones that we have now? In Ketchikan how fun is it driving south of town? Hold on tight and hope you don't bust a tire on the pot holes. How about this idea, let's take some of the money and subsidize the residents of Alaska to ride the ferries. Help lower the cost for those who rely on the ferry system for their normal lives?

This Gravina Island bridge will be a great selling point for the cruise ship passengers though. 200 dollars a person to be bused over the bridge stopping briefly to take pictures and throw cigarette butts into the narrows. And then turn around cause there is no where to go on the island! Welcome to natural Alaska full of steel bridges and roads. It is funny people come up here to get away from down south, and the lower 48 is now moving up this way. Roads, roads, and roads. In the winter who will find your car going to Skagway if you break down? Hope you have a lot of food and warmth to get you to spring. Really though, how many people are going to drive this road. With high gas prices you can either suck down a tank of gas on a cold and lonely road avoiding avalanches or you can ride a warm ferry and get to Skagway in 6 hours.

I can see it now, they are going to start this bridge, 1/4 of it will be up and then it will halt due to poor construction, elevating cost, or bad contracting, and then take years longer to build and cost even more then what they expect. Just like the middle school and just like the 3rd Avenue over pass. Then of course there is the cost of builing a road on Gravina that leads to...? where... what is out there?? The airport?

In the end though this administration will be out in a couple of years. Maybe the next one will not want roads and then the saga will continue. It is really just one big merry-go-round anyways.

Rob Glenn
Ketchikan, AK - USA



Related Viewpoint:

letter Gravina Bridge Cost Jumps by Don Hoff Jr. - Hixson, TN - USA



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