Letter: We can’t afford gamble on Knik bridge

The latest iteration of the Knik Arm Crossing before the Legislature is one of the most insidious in its long history of duping Alaskans. It disguises itself as a revamped lower-cost project, but still assumes — unrealistically — that the project can secure one-third of its funding from federal loans. Should the project not receive the loans, our state will be indebted the full price.

The middleman is gone, but Alaskans still shoulder the liability.

It would be irresponsible and dangerous for our legislators to stake our credit rating on what the feds will shrug off as a “bridge to nowhere.” Perhaps someday it could lead somewhere (provided the borough can extend utilities and infrastructure beyond their overburdened system); but so far, that somewhere has been grossly exaggerated. How can we gamble our emaciated budget on an even tighter federal budget — for a bridge to speculative affordable housing, which residents must pay to access?

Our representatives ask that we tighten our belts, while they reach into our pockets for a billion-dollar project without benefits to the majority of Alaskans.

— Arran Forbes