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Postcards make a joke of proposed Juneau road

State officials say construction could start later this year

Posted: Monday, January 10, 2005

ANCHORAGE - Opponents of a proposed road to Alaska's capital are trying humor to poke holes in support for the project.

The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is distributing and selling four postcards lampooning the proposed road between Skagway and Juneau, highlighting its cost, potential dangers and disruption to wildlife.

The postcards with manipulated images were produced by a Southeast Alaska man whom SEACC spokeswoman Emily Ferry would not identify.

"It's a pretty laughable project, and he took a laughable approach to it," Ferry said.

State officials are completing a "supplemental draft environmental impact statement" on the project and say construction could begin late this year, using mostly federal dollars. The postcards highlight obstacles the project must overcome.

Web links

For more, go to Juneau Access opposition: http://www.juneauroad.com

Juneau Access project: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/stwdplng/projectinfo/ser/juneau-access/indes.shtml

One postcard, carrying the caption "Drive The Juneau Road!" shows a massive avalanche descending onto two cars and a bus. The proposed road would cross 60 avalanche chutes.

"You and your family will get to play a snowy game of Russian Roulette on your way to and from Juneau, and if you lose, you'll get to see how your car performs as a submarine!" the postcard reads.

A second postcard, "Build The Juneau Road!" shows a bulldozer pushing Steller sea lions off rocks into the ocean. The postcard claims more than 1,000 sea lions have been counted on rocky bluffs in the path of the road.

A third postcard shows dump trucks hauling loads of $100 bills along the rocky beach, highlighting the road's cost, pegged at $285 million by the state but estimated to be far more by road opponents.

A fourth postcard shows two people roping a Subaru station wagon across a cliff face.

"The postcards distill the project down from its bureaucratic nature to the essential nature of the concerns," Ferry said.

The road is a centerpiece of Gov. Frank Murkowski's road plans for Southeast Alaska. Ferry contends the state Department of Transportation has been unresponsive to the people in Juneau, Skagway and Haines, most of whom would prefer improved ferry service.

Murkowski's spokesman, Becky Hultberg, called the postcards "fairly typical propaganda."

"The governor has long supported Juneau access and will continue to support Juneau access for the benefit of residents of Southeast Alaska and residents of the state who will have better access to their capital," she said.

"This project has been extensively studied and these individuals are simply using amusing propaganda to be alarmists," Hultberg said.

The postcards are selling for 25 cents apiece. Ferry said sales could help recover printing costs.



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