SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Paving Paradise?
By Chris Ruecker


February 18, 2008
Monday AM

The City is taking new steps to develop the downtown docks. Hot on the heels of the nearly finished berth three development, the city has contracted PND Engineering of Seattle for preliminary plans for a complete redesign of the current berths 1 & 2.

The preliminary site plan was unveiled Wednesday the 6th at the Ted Ferry Civic Center to mixed reviews. The plans call for a more streamlined traffic flow on the new dock with lanes that allow bus traffic exclusively and those that will allow mixed vehicular modes. The plan also allows for fairly large raised pedestrian zones around which vehicular traffic would flow. What you will also find is concrete, miles of it. The proposed dock would replace our current distinctive wooden structure with a concrete monolith. It doesn't have to be that way! The principal in charge of the project at PND made it clear that for the same or a similar price to the proposed concrete structure a new steel piled and wood decked dock could be built.

It's time for the citizens of this community to weigh in! Do we want to build a new concrete dock that has no connection to the city, that cuts off the public's access to the water, that doesn't set us apart but rather makes us more like every other destination on our visitors itinerary? Or is it possible to accentuate what makes this town great? Let's showcase our resources, our heritage and our local craftsmanship instead of literally paving it all over. Let's make our waterfront look like Ketchikan rather than Fort Lauderdale.

Chris Ruecker
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Full Time Ketchikan Resident"

Received February 13, 2008 - Published February 18, 2008


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