Skagway road worth an endorsement

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, May 30, 2005

It was very short sighted of the Assembly not to pass the resolution supporting the road between Juneau and Skagway.

Southeast Alaska and Juneau need that road. It is only a matter of time before the Anchorage area legislators will get their way and move the capital, unless we get more economic activity in Southeast Alaska other than government and tourism. The resources are here; it is the transportation bottleneck that is the problem.

It was very disingenuous of Madame Jan Wrentmore to say that "Skagway supported Juneau efforts to keep the capital and now it is time for Juneau to support Skagway in blocking the road." Madame Jan had the audacity to appear to be speaking for Skagway. She was speaking for herself. She forgot to mention she is one of the major movers in trying to start a private subsidized ferry system in Upper Lynn Canal.

Many people in Skagway think that an enhanced ferry system is a choice for us up here. We got a taste of their enhanced system last winter with two ferries a week. The state has clearly stated that in the long term the road is the cheapest way to go, and the state is only doing its job caring for our resources when they are going forward with plans for a road. All of Southeast Alaska will benefit from that road, preferably a road from Juneau to Skagway and on to Haines. Forget that Katzehin ferry terminal. Let Madame Jan and her group of Haines and Skagway investors build that for their ferry system.

It is not that I am not proud of our ferry system. I am proud of the ferry system, but it is time for it to adjust to the times. Build roads between Southeast communities, where you can build roads and connect them with shuttle ferries and maybe one mainline ferry to Bellingham.

The Juneau Assembly should take the resolution off the table and pass it.

Mavis Irene Henricksen

Skagway



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