A solution to the ferry-road dispute

Posted: Monday, April 03, 2000

A positive solution to improving access to Juneau is to build the road up Lynn Canal to the Katzehine River, which is almost directly across Lynn Canal from Haines. From this point a small, slow shuttle ferry would carry vehicles and passengers approximately 2 miles into downtown Haines.

This should make the governor happy because it would eliminate the most expensive construction cost, which is the 14-mile stretch between the Katzehine River and Skagway. The Federal Highways Administration would be happy because the Department of Transportation could complete its environmental impact statement and get paid. Haines would be happy because it would not be bypassed by a direct road to Skagway, and Skagway would be happy because it wouldn't have direct road access to Juneau.

The Juneau isolationist would be happy because there would still be a 2-mile separation from the rest of the world, and the proponents of a road would be happy because they could drive out of Juneau quicker and cheaper. The Kensington miners (if it goes into production) would be happy because they would have direct access to their homes and families, and Goldbelt would be happy because it could develop its land in Berners Bay. And last but not least, the rest of Alaska would be happier because it would have improved access to its Capital City.

This is a win-win solution! That is except for the Friends of Berners Bay members, who want to protect their playground from the rest of us.

Rich Poor

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