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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Road to Nowhere

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 11:32 PM

It's hard to forget the Congressional earmark for the Bridge to Nowhere ($233 million to connect Ketchikan, Alaska, to an airstrip on the island of Gravina), especially since GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin is repeatedly saying that she opposed it (which turns out not to be true). She draws big applause with the line that if Alaska needs a bridge, they'll build it themselves. Locals should remember a few things though. Katrina helped kill the Bridge to Nowhere - in November 2005. It was against the backdrop of the debate about what amount the federal government should spend to rebuild the Gulf Coast that the Bridge to Nowhere died in the sunshine of public scrutiny. Ironically, the bridge project was terminated, but the earmark wasn't. Alaska got the money but diverted it to other projects. When Palin ran for Governor, she still supported the project (video of her supporting it here). Regardless of when Palin changed her mind, Alaska is still building a Road to Nowhere. The state received $24 million for a road from the Gravina airport to the point at which the bridge was supposed to be built. The alternative to building that road is returning the money to Washington. (Read the details in the Anchorage Daily News.) Sounds more like a parking lot for pork.  


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