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Bridge To The Future
By Pete Ellis


September 19, 2005
Monday PM

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 world.

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.

Pete Ellis
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related News:

Ketchikan: National 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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