Letter: With taxpayer underwriting, Knik Arm Bridge couldn’t fail

HB23 & SB13, the KABATA bills, have started moving quietly through the Legislature. Backers of the Knik Arm Bridge are still lobbying to get an unlimited state guarantee to make up any toll revenue shortfalls.

 There is well-deserved skepticism about the toll revenues, since KABATA’s financial predictions don’t come true unless they have $594,910 of toll revenues every day (!) in 2051. KABATA’s forecasts are hard to believe because the company that made them had a nationwide average over-estimation of 118 percent, more than two times the revenue that actually came in. Two toll projects “outside” went bankrupt relying on toll revenue predictions from KABATA’s “experts.” That won’t happen here because you and I will be paying any difference between the toll revenues and the 35 years of annual payments that KABATA plans to sign a contract on sometime next year.

The House Finance committee didn’t even ask for a current finance plan or wait to get the results from the LB&A audit due out next week. Time to call your legislator!

— Bob French

Anchorage