The group opposing the Safe, Affordable, Future, Efficient, or SAFE, Committee's proposal to move forward with a preferred alternative and financing plan for a North Douglas Crossing at Sunny Point has generated flyers, newspaper and radio advertisements falsely claiming the SAFE Committee's proposal is "dishonest." This misinformation campaign can also mislead the public into believing no other crossing alternatives will be considered as the permitting and National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment process moves forward.
The SAFE Committee's cost estimates were prepared by an experienced, professional engineer and were reviewed and validated by the city's engineering department, and are consistent with the Alaska Department of Transportation estimates. Is that dishonest?
The Vote NO on Prop. 2 Committee unrealistically suggests federal funds are readily available and can mislead the public into believing matching state funds will not or cannot be solicited as the permitting and appropriation processes moves forward.
The state of Alaska and federal agency permitting process, together with the National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment regulations, require all feasible alternatives be evaluated with a thorough public review before a record of decision is rendered and any Douglas crossing project is finally approved.
Approval of Proposition 2 on Oct. 5 and commitment by the city will enable the Alaska Legislature to consider matching part of the funds committed by the city to construct and complete a second crossing. There are already several projects in the state jointly funded by the state and a community.
The facts and benefits of Proposition 2 are available at www.northdouglascrossing.com.
I urge those who support any of the possible second Douglas Crossing alternatives to vote yes on Proposition 2.
John A. Sandor
Former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation ˊˊˊˊˊˊˊˊˊˊ