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Best erosion solution is to move highway

Posted: December 19, 2013 - 8:59am

What a beautiful stretch of highway between Happy Valley and Anchor Point, a drive loved by many offering glorious glimpses of Cook Inlet. According to DOT and a great photo, it appears that the inlet is closing in on the highway, sinkholes and all. For eons the constant churning of the Inlet, with its high tides and merciless winds have eroded away many miles of its is shoreline.

It’s great that the state is taking action on this problem, but when we see nearly five million dollars being tossed to this hole project I can’t help but wonder if this current plan is the best solution. If a retainer wall is constructed, how long would it last. I can imagine years from now, that wall probably would still be standing everything around it washed away.

The highway needs to be moved over, that would be the safest and most sensible thing to do. National statistics show that a highway like the one pictured in the Clarion at milepost 153.3 would cost from 5 to 10 million per mile to build. Doesn’t it make more sense to invest the money in a longer term solution.

As we Alaskans face the chaotic economics of the near future, it behooves us all to pay closer attention to how we and our elected public servants spend money. Meeting needs with well thought out solutions that will serve generations to come should be foremost in our minds.

 

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