SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Road to Nowhere
By Carol Cairnes



June 15, 2007
Friday PM

I live in Ketchikan Alaska where the "bridge to nowhere" project is currently under construction using federal transportation money. The contractor is Kiewit Pacific and the contract was awarded by former U.S. Senator and Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski after he lost his bid for reelection as governor in the primary of 2006. Richard Geary is on the Board of Directors of Kiewit Pacific. Geary and his wife Janet have donated more than $700,000.00 since 1993 to Republican candidates and the RNC and its committees; especially the Republican National State Elections Committee which received $155,000.00 from the them in 2000. Geary has also given individual donations to Ted Stevens and Don Young.

The 3.2 miles of gravel road that is contracted to Kiewit Pacific for $25.7 million is the only part of the project that could benefit Frank Murkowski directly, as his family owns 33 acres on Gravina Island. The road comes within half a mile of connecting their acreage to the Ketchikan Airport. It also connects with another road being built under questionable circumstances, again with federal money, that accesses a state timber sale on Gravina Island. Frank Murkowski sold this timber during his term as Governor of Alaska. The so-called
"Bostwick Road" which accesses the state timber is being cut across previously roadless Tongass National Forest.

The "bridge to nowhere" was never going to be built. The money is continuing handouts to the timber industry and payback to political donors and is still flowing freely. Frank Murkowski has left the state and is reported to be on a 'round the world cruise. But Kiewit Pacific is in Ketchikan and on Gravina Island building a road that crosses 2 salmon streams, which will have to be bridged. Those 2 bridges will be built with money from the federal transportation budget provided by Congress to the State of Alaska unless Governor Palin cancels the contract.

In the process of contracting to Kiewit, the borough residents were compelled to donate their land to the State of Alaska for the project.

Carol Cairnes
Ketchikan, AK

Received June 14, 2007 - Published June 15, 2007


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