By Robert McRoberts
December 10, 2005
For many years we have been debating this bridge and I have voiced
my views and concerns more than most. I voted for using borough
property on which to build the bridge - at the time it seemed
like a good idea. But the more I look at this, the more I see
flaws. At first we did not know the cost of the options. And
we really do not know now. We are just guessing. Surely the costs
are going to increase even more as has every project that has
been done lately. Thirty years ago building the bridge would
have been the right thing. Today many of us that have grown up
here are use to the fact that we have to take a ferry to the
airport. With the proper ferries, transportation would
totally improve and reduce the hassles we face today. It is my
opinion that no one wanted to improve on the ferry service so
we could get a bridge by making the ferry service a complete
As for me I, have always loved the view of Gravina Island. From
all locations, especially from the top of Deer Mountain. From
there it looks like the bridge will land on a fault line, but
you must have seen that. I really do not want to see us butcher
up the island. Well I can handle a little, after all that's how
I make my keep.
I have seen the zoning maps
hanging on the wall at the borough's office - you did lots of
work. But that work can still all be done with a better more
efficient ferry system. With more traffic keeping the ferries
loaded, that should reduce the rate to $5.00 a vehicle... especially
if it were an electric ferry. A ferry that you could drive a
loaded log truck on and off easier is needed. The boats that we
are presently using are not designed for this.
Land is only valuable if someone wants it. I think our governor
is supporting this bridge for two reasons. He has many 'good
old boys' friends here plus the fact that it's time to dump his
property on that island.
I will never believe that this
bridge is going to help Ketchikan's economy better than a road
out would. We need to keep pushing for a road out. I have been
building roads and such on this island for 25 years now. I have
sat in a excavator digging over 150 miles of road on this island
alone. Very little of that road are we able to get
to. We have so many nice beautiful spots we could utilize
if we get going on a direction out of town as well as make the
maintenance and construction of the intertie so much cheaper
which would equal less rate increases. Swan Lake could have a
fuel truck deliver fuel without having a barge and tug. Wonder
how much we pay a gallon there? The Coast Guard Station at Shoal
Cove and Neets Bay all would be able to reduce operating cost.
Cape Fox has lots of land that nothing is going to happen on
for a another 100 years. Let's get that on the tax roles. Gorge
Inlet is a great harbor, Stevedoring has been using it for years.
Today we have so many resources sitting around us. I can not
see why they are not being developed. The rest of the country
needs electricity we have plenty of water for hydro. Why not
a water pipe line right a long side a gas line? Recreation
is a big deal. We pay 200 bucks to go to Prince of Wales to get
one buck. To catch a few trout it takes a lot of effort and expense
to fly our boat over. Camping is really fun at Ward Lake; however,
we just can not get a spot in the summer. We get so many tourists
that we can not handle the one we get. We could spread them out.
Would it not be nice if we could load them onto one bus that
could stop at Herring Cove, do the Rain Forest thing and the
Aquarium and head out south farther, take in George Inlet and
go on to Totem Bight and return them from the north or visa versa.
White River could get developed and you could live on the South
or North and not have to go through town to go to work. I
am not saying we need to go all that way, but we just
need to get it started so we who live here can enjoy what
we have too. Only making it easier with each step. Sure
we could all go out in our nice boats, but even today it's expensive
and when you get there, there is some one already there.
Connecting all these roads could be done with local contractors
and their crews. Building the new ferries can be done at the
shipyard. Tourist would come to town and stay for awhile. We
could enjoy more for less. When the governor came to town to
encourage our youth to become construction workers, he for got
to tell them that the reason there are not many left in the state
is that if you do not work on Davis Bacon jobs all year you can
not afford to live here. I think the price of steal will not
allow us to build a railroad. Plus then you are depending on
someone else to get us out of town. Two years ago we drove around
the loop in Yellowstone. What beauty! Why not border a monument
and make it easier for all to enjoy. I really think we all
need to speak out about this. If we go for the bridge we may
never get any more monies to finish the road that was started
many years before the bridge.
This is just my opinion on spending this money for the betterment
of our state. Now if we could only stop round log exportation,
and have a tax on out-of-state fishermen and boats and others
that come from somewhere else just to take our money out of state.
Let's take it in steps. Hope I gave some good thoughts.
Ketchikan AK - USA
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
Robert McRoberts is the owner
of a local construction company with 25 years experience building
roads on Revilla.
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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