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Conflicting Visions
by Wieslaw Czajkowski


December 21, 2004

When dreamers of Great Alaska in 1970s chose Willow in the middle of the recreation region Mat-Su (Matanuska-Susitna Borough), along the route from the municipality of Anchorage to the Denali National Park, and further north to the municipality of Fairbanks, for the Capital of Alaska, they had another idea at hand, the Knik Arm Bridge, connecting Mat-Su with Anchorage from the west. This idea is still on the State agenda, and in the U.S. Congress, too.

As their dream by national referendum of 1982 came to a standstill, the South East Alaskans set up a road to greatness differently.

They envisioned an access highway, 65 miles long to Skagway, north from Juneau, not caring, that it would bring a demise to the Alaska's Marine Highway, serving people from Skagway to Juneau, nor that visitors from Central Alaska will fill that crowded city of Juneau over its brim.

Over the brim, as more visitors from Canada would flock to Juneau if a 100 mile long road through a wilderness were to be build from the Bradfield Canal and its a new port.

Also the Ketchikan's high rising bridges to the uninhabited Gravina Island might add to the greatness, but mostly to coffers of commercial airlines from Juneau to Ketchikan International Airport, as well to the ocean cruisers en route from Canada to Anchorage, delivering few Ketchikans to Juneau by the Inside Passage's fiords back and forth.

Undoubtedly, the Gravina Island Bridge(s) Project, the Bradfield Canal Road Project, and the Juneau Access Project would create incentives for outsiders to settle in the South East Alaska, but in result the Alaska's Capital would get more crowded.

Therefore it would be more practical to build the new Capitol out of reach of the Juneau downtown in a place nearby, within a range of 10 miles, thus allowing the city to expand outwardly onto yet undeveloped lands, where the Capitol would not disrupt activities of tourism industry and be more easy accessible to Central Alaskans on governmental business.

For such a place best suited seems to be the slope of an unnamed hill between Auke Lake, Mendenhall River and the Glacier Highway, where from the top to its base could gradually descend a state-of- the-art multiply tiered Capitol, framed in glass resembling the nearby Mendenhall Glacier. And since then the hill should bear the name of recent governor of Alaska.

Wieslaw Czajkowski
San Diego, CA - USA



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