Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin supported the "Bridge to Nowhere"

October 5, 2006, Anchorage Daily News article, Palin supported the bridge project during a 2006 gubernatorial debate:

As for the infamous "bridges to nowhere," [debate moderator Steve] MacDonald asked if the candidates would forge ahead with the proposed Knik Arm crossing between Anchorage and Point MacKenzie and Ketchikan's Gravina Island bridge. Each has received more than $90 million in federal funding and drew nationwide attacks as being unnecessary and expensive. He also asked if they support building an access road from Juneau toward -- but not completely connecting to -- Skagway and Haines.

"I do support the infrastructure projects that are on tap here in the state of Alaska that our congressional delegations worked hard for," Palin said. She said the projects link communities and create jobs.

Still, Palin warned that the flow of federal money into the state for such projects is going to slow.

Further, an October 20, 2006, Associated Press article (accessed from the Nexis database), reported that "Republican Sarah Palin's spokesman, Curtis Smith, said Palin supports the Ketchikan bridge project."

Additionally, a September 21, 2007, press release announcing that she had "directed the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to look for the most fiscally responsible alternative for access to the Ketchikan airport and Gravina Island" also included the following comment from Palin:

"Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer," said Governor Palin. "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island," Governor Palin added. "Much of the public's attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened."

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