SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Options for Gravina
By Rob Holston


June 09, 2006

Congressman Mark Kirk (R - IL) may have driven the nail in the Gravina Bridge coffin with his recent ammendment. Many of my friends and fellow business owners may be extremely upset by this and vow to fight this to the end. They probably will, but I would hope the community of Ketchikan can read this national hand writing on the wall and get on with our future.

I have not been a vocal opponent of the bridge because I've never bought into the hypothetical idea that we could use the 300 million for many other things more important to our community. That has never been an option. The option that we must now consider is Gravina Island without a hard link. My uncle, Dick Taylor owned and operated Taylor's Landing at Mukilteo, WA. for years. His home was out on the islands of Puget Sound and for years thousands of commuters would use the ferry to and from the islands. The ferry ride at Mukilto is much longer than our ten minute ride accross Tongass Narrows and still the islands have developed into vibrant communities, supporting recreation, agriculture, industry and residential use. If the demand is there for Gravina Island, we can develop the island without a bridge. We are a maritime community.

Let's come up with some "no-hard-link" options for the development of Gravina Island and get on with it. Our leaders have chosen to this point to ignore options so as not to look UN-united in our efforts to get the bridge BUT at some point other plans must be discussed. Many months ago, Steve Seley spoke of developing Gravina first, making it a "bridge to somewhere" and then we would have a reason to demand the bridge. This idea should be embraced. The present environment at the federal level is not conducive to spending $300,000,000+ to connect to a basically UNdeveoped island. It is time to move ahead as a community and openly discuss options for Gravina. Perhaps then at some point in the future the bridge may once again become an option for federal funding.

Rob Holston
Ketchikan, AK - uSA

About: Resident of Ketchikan for over 25 years, retired health & music educator, owner of Lighthouse Excursion.


Related News:

Bridges face new hurdle in Congress By DON HUNTER Anchorage Daily News - An Illinois congressman has persuaded the U.S. House Appropriations Committee to pass an amendment that would block spending any federal money on the proposed Knik Arm and Ketchikan bridges. - Read this Anchorage Daily News story... - Friday - June 09, 2006

Amendment Blocks Use of Federal Funds for Construction of Bridges - Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) praised the House Appropriations Committee decision Tuesday to approve his amendment that would block federal funding and prohibit federal officials from spending federal funds for the construction of the Knik and Gravina bridge projects. - More...
SitNews - Thursday - June 08, 2006




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