Half a billion dollars! I am amazed that more people around the state are not looking at this large figure and wondering why it is not being spent in their districts where it is sorely needed.
Half a billion dollars to build a road that will serve very few in the end and cost a great deal of money to maintain. It’s squandering money that could be used for far better purposes.
Example: Use the money for public transportation that everyone can use. Certainly, the community of Big Delta could use a railroad depot. Big Delta people could come up for the day on the train for supplies, Delta farmers would have access to a dependable way to get their products to market. The military could transport equipment and personal efficiently. Expansion and maintenance of the railroad system would serve far more people and add vitality to those communities. Money that would be well spent.
I am sure there are other communities where the railroad could be expanded to — for instance, Glennallen. Half a billion dollars could begin a railroad between Cordova and Glenallen. Now that would be a scenic ride, and it would revitalize those communities.
Why not rebuild and expand the marine highway system? According to a Google search Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline, excluding islands, inlets, and bays, which would bring it to 47,300 miles. Most people cannot imagine that. Half a billion dollars could restart the ferry system in the Gulf of Alaska. It is needed! Ferries between Soldotna and Anchorage, Bethel and Dillingham and Naknek, between Nome, Kotzebue, Alakanuk and Holy Cross. The ferry system could include all the navigable rivers. The ferry system was once the prime mode of transportation. And what of a deep seaport in Nome for present and future boat traffic?
These transportation systems connect small communities that would otherwise be isolated, but having these connections allows for these communities to prosper economically. Alaska needs to concentrate on its infrastructure. Build upon and enhance what already exists, not take a half-billion dollars of dwindling funds and squander it for a short-time deal.
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