When I read the Oct. 23 editorial, "Bridge Too Far Out," I was heartsick that you would print such inaccuracies about our community's bridge to the future. As I am sure you already know, Ketchikan is situated on an island, and our international airport is on another island across the channel. Since the airport was built in 1975, this community has been working and planning to have a bridge to connect the two islands.
Ketchikan has a total population of 13,000 people with about 50 people who live on the other island. In addition there are 300 people who commute to the other island to their airport and industrial related jobs. Ketchikan is sandwiched in by mountains and federal lands which prohibit us from growing and developing in the future.
Our community has created an in-depth plan for developing the "airport" island. We will be able to develop land for economic benefit to our region; establish new, safe harbors for the many fishing and pleasure boats in our area; develop recreationsareas to include parks and trails; build roads and infrastructure; develop residential communities; develop the shoreline by "best practice methods" and environmentally sound guidelines. The bridge is a very needed project in Ketchikan, and is an exciting opportunity for those of us living and working here.
I am writing this so your readers will have a better understanding of the issues in our community. As you are aware, we are a new state and are attempting to build needed infrastructure and to create new jobs here that will allow our young people to have good-paying jobs that benefit them and our community. Your editorial does not give our town credit for its vision and 30 years of planning.
Each time an Alaskan community receives part of the federal "pie" for needed projects, the entire state benefits, even Juneau. Please clarify the accurate facts for your readers.