Bridge not worth risks

Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2005

Many, many full-time residents of the Funny River area are opposed to this bridge. We don't see it as improving our community at all. In fact, it would degrade our quality of life.

We have very good access to the Funny River area via a rural paved road. The road has many curves and is narrow but this slows down the traffic. If a bridge is built, we fear more traffic will funnel to this road and result in more accidents.

As many people point out, we do only have one road in and out of our community, but we are no different than many communities on the Kenai Peninsula. As a matter of fact, the peninsula has only one road in and out.

Presently, we have a nice quiet community, and we would like to keep it this way.

When the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities was designing this project, part of the process required an Environment Impact Statement to obtain a permit to build the bridge.

When the EIS was evaluated by the state and federal agencies whose approval was required to obtain a permit to build, many agencies voiced concerns for the impact this project would have on the Kenai River's wetlands in this area and the spawning areas of the Funny and Kiley rivers.

It was agreed by the experts in these agencies that additional protections needed to be implemented to protect the rivers' habitat to maintain healthy rivers and spawning areas.

As a result, the Federal Highway Administration issued a decision in 1998 stating that when these conditions were met, a permit could be issued.

To date, nothing has been done to address these concerns.

If the environmental experts are concerned, then we all need to be concerned. How much construction-development pressure can the Kenai River stand? Is that a gamble you are willing to take?

Vote "no" on Proposition 3.

Beth Boucher, Funny River

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