Bridge is for the good of many

Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2005

There have been several letters to the editor trying to influence the public to the disadvantages of the Funny River bridge. I think it's only fair to point out that most of these people either live or indirectly have ties to the neighborhood most impacted on the Sterling side of the river.

I can sympathize with them, but this has been a project in the works since the 1980s. There have been considerable amounts of time and money spent on this project, for example environmental impact, habitat and location evaluations, etc.

The Funny River area has shown steady growth since the bridge concept was first introduced and the road was upgraded in 1999. Growth in this area has accelerated and continues to increase dramatically on a yearly basis.

I really don't need to point out that currently the 20-mile Funny River Road has only one way in and out or that the fire we experienced in June could have, had it started closer to Soldotna, easily cut off the community with no way to protect itself.

The bridge investment decision should be viewed as an insurance policy for all of us against loss of tax revenue when — not if — a fire does happen.

A bridge in, for emergency response, and a way out, when trapped, would surely cut all of our losses. The project is sound and long overdue.

I encourage voters on Oct. 4 to consider the good of the whole and not the inconvenience of a few when placing your vote.

Michael L. Gardner, Soldotna

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