Bridge To The Future
By Pete Ellis
September 19, 2005
I sent the following commentary
to the Anchorage Daily News Reporter SEAN COCKERHAM in the hopes
that it might expand his intellectual horizons and practical
background. Not sure that we will see his future use of the
same but did feel in appropriate to cover some of the more positive
details that could also be emphasized by all of us in addition
to those set forth in the article. The e-mail to Cockerham
read as follows:
Ketchikan Bridge To The Future
Some things you might further
mention when you do a follow-up to the basic information in
your article which did do a good job of the pro's and con's
but a bit too much emphasis on the negative attitude con's:
The employment at the airport
on a daily basis runs at least 300 people and the Seley sawmill
complex employs 100 or more.
The ferry operation charges
over $500.00 for a medi-vac transport during the hours when it
does not operate which averages the 8 hours from 10:00 PM until
5:00 AM. A roundtrip on the ferry for two people with a car runs
$22.00 which is probably the highest toll in the nation if not
The ferry presently hauls in
excess of 350,000 people per year to and from the airport.
The airport serves not only Ketchikan but Prince of Wales and
Southern Southeast Alaska with a total population in excess of
40,000 people without regard to the summer residents here for
the tourism industry needs.
Gravina has the only flat land
available for development and needed by town that is now stretched
19 miles to both the north and south with everything jammed up
against the 2,500 mountain range which follows the Tongass Narrows
and is less than a mile wide in most places.
So the future is the bridge
and the development of Southern Southeast Alaska is very dependent
upon its construction and operation so that the growth potentials
of the region can be realized.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
spotlight has Alaska town uncomfortable By SEAN COCKERHAM
- Mike Salazar, the Ketchikan borough mayor, had just fielded
a call from Reader's Digest. Another reporter wanting to talk
about "the Bridge to Nowhere."
The proposed $315 million bridge
from this small Alaska city to a neighboring, nearly uninhabited
island has become a sensation. It's made Ketchikan famous, but
not in a way Salazar likes.
"It makes me frustrated
that we haven't been able to communicate our need well enough
for the rest of the United States to understand it," said
the mayor, who was first elected to the town council in 1976.
"Everybody calls it a
bridge to nowhere. ... It's a bridge to our future." - More...
Monday - September 19, 2005
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