Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bridge to Nowhere is Getting Somewhere

Just when you thought this poor horse couldn't get beaten anymore, the Bridge to Nowhere controversy has raised it's ugly head yet again. Here's the update: Gov. Palin’s administration acknowledges that it is still pursuing a bridge project using as much as $73 million in federal funds earmarked by Congress for the original project. Roger Wetherell, a spokesman for Alaska's Department of Transportation, said:

"What the media isn't reporting is that the project isn't dead."

The state’s DOT is currently considering (PDF) a number of alternative solutions (five other possible bridges or three different ferry routes) to link Ketchikan and Gravina Island. The project is dubbed the Gravina Access Project, which sounds much less controversial than the "Bridge to Nowhere" project. Wetherell said that $73 million of the approximately $223 million Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) originally earmarked for the bridge has been set aside for the new project.

When ABC’s Charles Gibson challenged Palin about the bridge she said: “I was for infrastructure being built in the state,” but said that Alaska would “find a way to build [the bridge] ourselves.” She added:

“What I supported was the link between a community and its airport. And we have found that link now.”

She sure has - and she's using $73 million dollars in federal funds to do it.



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1 comment:

RangerTommy said...

I dread the thought of the McCain/Palin ticket winning this upcoming election. That being said, I do wish peopel would stop calling the controversial topic of the bridge: "The Bridge to Nowhere." Having lived in the Ketchikan vicinity for five years, the small ferry system that was in place to take people to and from Gravina Island (where the airport is located) was less than adaquate. Just go there sometime, and you'll see what I mean. As to whether or not a bridge spanning the channel was the best approach (something talked about all the time as one solution), something certainly needed to be done. It was really hard to see older and/or disabled people having to lug their suitcases onto and off of the ferries, then up the long ramp to the airport terminal. You could help whom you could help, but most folks were on their own. The press paints this project like it was going to be an offramp to a vacant lot, or something. Hardly.