A Second Proposal
By Patrick Jirschele
December 04, 2005
To make the trip to the Ketchikan Airport more comfortable
for pedestrians in inclement weather.
The Gravina Bridge was supposed to enhance access to
the airport and make it easier to develop property. National
ridicule of the project has forced Congress to remove earmarked
bridge monies. This money has been left in the general transportation
bill. It is not likely that the powerful Anchorage area districts
will appropriate $300 to $350 million for our bridge. We need
to be realistic and capture part of the money meant for the bridge
to build alternatives to do what the bridge was meant to do.
The attitude of "bridge or nothing" will leave the
community with nothing.
The trip to the Ketchikan Airport has long been a miserable
experience during inclement weather. The available shelter on
the City side is open to the southeast, which is where the bad
weather comes from. At times, the driest spot when waiting for
the ferry is behind the shelter.
Dragging luggage down the ramp and then up the other side is
also a detriment to walk-on customers.
On the City side, a building should be constructed to the
right of the existing ramp encompassing the existing shelter
and generator building. It should extend over the parking lot
far enough to cover the Borough bus plus four or five passenger
cars and cabs. The existing covered walkway on the ramp should
be extended to the building. This should be constructed in such
a way that a passenger can get out of a car or bus, enter the
building and get to and go down the ramp without getting wet
in the worst weather.
The building should be heated, have restrooms, and baggage check-in
and ferry ticketing would be available.
On the airport side, a cover of adequate clearance should be
constructed from the covered walkway to the airport building.
This would provide a dry walkway for pedestrians and a dry drop-off
If you like this proposal and would like to see it or something
similar implemented, contact the Borough Assembly Members,
the City Council Members, Bert Steadman, Jim Elkins and Governor
Murkowski. Time is short to get it into the State Transportation
Bill. I have been told (second or third hand) that proposals
have to be submitted by the ninth of December. If it is true,
act now. It doesn't need to be all or nothing.
Pennock Island, Alaska - USA
Note: As a member of the USCG
Pat Jirschele was transferred to Ketchikan in the summer
of 1980 and never left. Now retired from the IBEW, he is
building a home on Pennock Island.
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