SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

USS Enterprise
By Eric Riemer


March 27, 2012

So I'm pretty sure nobody has pointed out the complete ridiculousness of the idea to use an old aircraft carrier as a bridge to Gravina because the flaws are quite obvious if one spends even a few moments thinking about it, but after reading someone's positive response to the idea I cannot hold my tongue, so I beg your indulgence..

First (and least) of all, it would be a complete eyesore. I love my view of the narrows and Gravina, and would hate to look out my window every day and see a 13 to 25 story, 60 year old warship blocking my view. This thing makes cruise ships look like toy boats. Not only would it completely destroy the scenery of beautiful Ketchikan, it would (second point) be an environmental disaster. Tell me, how would salmon runs be affected by this monstrosity blocking the top 40 (at least) feet of the water? Even if the salmon adapted and swam under, what about boat traffic? Someone mentioned a lift to pop cruise ships over it... REALLY?? Costs, safety... I won't even go there. I wonder if our new bridge would act like a huge dam in the narrows - might make for an interesting tidal study, huh? And by the way, am I the only one who doesn't want 8 nuclear reactors sitting in my backyard?

Finally, even when one looks past the absolute ludicrousness of it all, the costs to maintain the thing would completely offset the power production, tourism benefits, or real estate options (does anyone want to live or work in an aircraft carrier??). Oh, and by the way, how many nuclear engineers would the city have to hire to run the reactors, not to mention operate the rest of an advanced warship? Oh, and while we are thinking about other serious obstacles to actually carrying out this project, did anyone think what it would cost to actually BUY an aircraft carrier, albeit decommissioned? Oh, and would the government actually sell it to us anyway?

So let's see.. aside from the aesthetic drawbacks of staring at a rusting, decommissioned warship every day, there are very real issues that make this idea untenable: costs of purchasing and maintaining an AIRCRAFT CARRIER, environmental concerns ranging from impact on local salmon runs to possible nuclear MELTDOWN, marine traffic concerns (let's all take the long way around Gravina), and of course the fact that the former flagship of our nation would end its illustrious career as a toll bridge.

But hey, let's keep thinking big!

And now... back to my taxes. Ahh, the distraction was good while it lasted..

Eric Riemer
Ketchikan, AK

Received March 20, 2012 - Published March 27, 2012

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