Ah, another Alaskan bridge.
Will the Knik Arm Bridge be our next infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’? Seems like we’re taking steps in that direction. The unholy trinity of Rep. Don Young, ex-Senator/ex-Governor Frank Murkowski, and ex-mayor George Wuerch saw to it that the concept of a bridge across Knik Arm (directly to the land at Pt. McKenzie held by various family and friends) got a big influx of cash. And the planning began. They planned and they planned. They got paid to plan, and they kept on planning.
$41.5 MILLION later….
Enter new administration. Words like ‘pork barrel spending’ are heard. People start asking questions. Sarah ‘You Guys are in Big Trouble’ Palin now says the whole project needs reevaluation.
Rats begin leaping from the bridge. First went Deputy Director of the bridge authority Darryl Jordan. (eeeeeee! Splash.) He said that since he believed this project wasn’t going anywhere soon, he thought it would be best to find a “real project”. Maybe getting $130,000 a year to work on a fantasy project was gnawing at his conscience? Right.
The next leaping rat was aforementioned ex-mayor George Wuerch. Before taking his own flying leap, he wrote a letter to Sarah Palin in which he explained, “It’s been a long, slow and expensive process.” Yes, George…we noticed. (eeeeeee! Splash.)
Now, all this may look bad, but we are assured by Mary Pease, spokesperson for the bridge authority, that “the project couldn’t be more on track in terms of trying to tie together the community and the administrative folks, than ever before”. So, we can rest easy. They are on track to try. They are more on track to try than EVER. There’s no way they could be MORE on track to try than they are right now. And, I bet if we keep throwing more money at them, they will continue to remain firmly and squarely on track to try.
Let’s see…that’s $600 million for the bridge…no wait..it’s more like $1 Billion now, plus $25 million a year for each year we delay, plus $200+ million for the Gambell St. access, plus $1.1 million in payroll for the planners every year…minus $130,000 a year for Darrell Jordan’s salary since they’re not replacing him. Ever wonder how much the toll is going to end up being? Will they take credit cards?