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Kudos to Governor Parnell for his plan announced on Nov. 12 to address the state's deferred maintenance needs with proposed funding of $100 million per year for the next five years. With approval from the Legislature, this money will fund needed investment in the state's transportation and other infrastructure while simultaneously providing jobs for Alaskans.
According to the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Alaska's transportation system requires more than $500 million in preventive maintenance money each year (Long Range Transportation Plan, 2008).
Spending money to maintain existing infrastructure is far wiser and more fiscally conservative than funding expensive, unnecessary transportation projects like the $1.5 billion Knik Arm Bridge and the half billion dollar Juneau Road to a new ferry terminal.
As a follow-up to his maintenance announcement, Parnell should take the logical next step and cancel these two transportation projects and use the money saved to reduce the state's infrastructure maintenance needs even more.
Lois N. Epstein