I would like to explain some of the issues Roger Allington addressed in his Oct. 28 published letter.
The two sections of roadway he referred to (Old Glacier Highway and Old Dairy Road) were scheduled to be re-paved and sidewalks installed in 2006. Last spring we found that we could use funds under another project to pave both roadways this year but without sidewalks. We could not include sidewalks for two reasons:
1) The type of funding that became available was for roadway pavement rehabilitation only.
2) The work had to be completed this year, which did not allow enough time to purchase right of way and procure environmental permits for sidewalk work.
Many probably remember the poor condition of the pavement, and the opportunity to fix a very stressed pavement five years ahead of schedule seemed to make for an easy decision.
Mr. Allington accuses the DOT/PF of being unaccountable and flagrantly violating state law and CBJ permits. This is not the case. The project was submitted to CBJ planning on May 11. Normally we receive a very quick turnaround for local approval, but the process did extend to Aug. 30, 111 days after our initial request, 21 days after the required statutory response to our request and three months after we planned to advertise for bids. We were in close contact with CBJ officials throughout that time and had every indication of strong community support to continue with the project as pavement rehabilitation only. Furthermore, we have not received any criticism from CBJ management for this decision. Mr. Allington is aware of these facts but chooses to ignore them.
Finally, in his most recent letter to the department, Mr. Allington stated "we do not need to continue a paper war." Given the volume of letters and e-mails we receive from Mr. Allington on many different subjects, we were looking forward to not having to reply to future missives. Apparently that is not the case. Not in our wildest imagination did we think fixing old, broken, 30-year-old pavement five years ahead of schedule would lead to a letter to the editor criticizing our rationale.
I hope this information helps clarify Mr. Allington's Oct. 28 letter.
Patrick J. Kemp, P.E.