Road is costly

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Mr. Murkowski wants a road, a jet, a fleet of fast ferries, ferry offices in Ketchikan and who know what else.

This one-time governor's shopping list gives real insight into the type of businessman he is and the contempt in which he holds the average Alaskan. Taken in perspective, one road at $300 million would be equal to:

• 214 of his status-seeking jets.

• 812 of his aluminum fast ferries (not including the necessary dock space to tie them up when he decides they are too costly to operate).

• longevity bonus payments for six years (if they hadn't already been cut).

• moving the ferry offices to Ketchikan more than 600 times.

• 60 years of annual Lynn Canal ferry losses (assuming accurate state figures).

Is this $300 million projection even accurate? Will the road include state-of-the-art avalanche tunnels like in Europe? Or will travelers be subjected to the hazards inherent in the 60 or more chutes being traversed? Does the projected cost include outlays by travelers when the road is closed 40 days each winter? Or do residents' needs count? Does this include the cost of building a ferry terminal to serve Haines? And the building and maintenance of a short-hop ferry for the same?

Damn the facts. Tourists will love it.

Bob Andrews


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