Fancy bridge design just one more example of government waste

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2003

Dear Gov. Murkowski,

Please! Would you check into this Soldotna bridge? It looks to me like a lot of wasted money, five lanes, two each way and one in the middle which will be lined off to prohibit traffic.

Why do we have to waste money on 400 feet of unused bridge just to make a left turn on Riverside Drive? It will still be possible to make a left turn on Riverside, because it is five lanes as soon as you come off from the bridge onto the Sterling Highway.

Now for the funny part: two 10-foot pedestrian walkways. What a waste of money. Officials say that will allow for two-way traffic or walking and biking traffic on the bridge. Are the sidewalks in town 10 feet wide? There is something wrong with this project engineer's thinking.

Why don't they go with 5-foot walkways and push the snow off with a four-wheeler with plow. That is what I use to plow my big yard and long driveway.

I do understand that the feds are paying 90 percent and the state 10 percent so the less the bridge costs the less it costs the state.

I would like to know how much money was paid to Land Design North for the gateway art pictures. Another waste.

It would be nice to know the difference between $28 million and a cost-effective bridge with four driving lanes and two 5-foot walkways.

I have to thank Rep. Kelly Wolf for his concern about the cost of the bridge. Too much wasted money on bells and whistles and 10-foot walkways.

I guess Rep. Mike Chenault and Sen. Tom Wagoner were too busy to show up for this important meeting on the bridge.

On another matter, why would Lt. Gov. Loren Leman waste his time to set up a task force to study exempting Alaska from the draft? If Alaska was exempt from the draft, we would probably be exempt from getting federal funds.

Was anything ever done about the 56 planners at DOT, some of which had no idea of their duties or job descriptions? Yes, delete those jobs along with upper- and mid-management.

Governor, you took away my Longevity Bonus; now, let's see if you can figure enough ways to cut other places so you don't have to have a state sales or income tax. Let's get money from the tourists to run our state.

I keep finding these money wastes every time I pick up the paper. I see a state matching grant for more than $100,000 to pave the parking lot at the Soldotna Sports Center. The city manager says there are a number of dips that puddle when it rains. The sports center is not used that much. What is wrong with the city buying a few loads of gravel and filling the holes?

Earl Miller, Soldotna

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