DOT hides road cost

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2005

Maybe this isn't the best time of year to be talking about building a new way out of Juneau. Everyone starts to get a little stir crazy in February, so it's hard to be objective. A road from Juneau to Skagway may sound really good right now.

This is when the Department of Transportation chose to come out with their environmental impact statement, however, so it's time to get our heads back into the nitty-gritty world of money and safety, which is how the road will most impact our families. I've read any number of letters concerned about safety on the proposed road-avalanches, black ice, plus all the mundane dangers of a narrow, twisting two-lane road next to open water. We know the road construction will cost at least $281 million, probably more, and maintenance costs aren't covered. Given that DOT has already used up their snowplowing budget for the year, how are they expecting to keep the road safe through the winter? The new piece of the puzzle that's popped up is that the road won't be cheaper than the Marine Highway service. DOT figured that out, but it's hidden in the 300-page road analysis. I'm going to Haines this weekend. I'll say no thanks to DOT's plan and take the ferry.

Cindy Scott


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