PUBLISHED: 5:33 PM on Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Floyd Dryden Voices: Stop the road out
What would you do with $400 to $500 million? I doubt that you would say you wanted to build a road. Well that is what some people across Alaska want to do. The proposed road would be 65 miles long with a ferry terminal at the Katzhin River Delta. In a recent vote, the majority of residents voted against a road. Not only has most of Juneau opposed the road, but also

most of Haines, Skagway and Upper Lynn Canal have said we should not build the road. One thing to think about is our safety on the road. It would be dangerous to drive on. Along the proposed road there are an estimated sixty-one avalanche chutes and six land slide areas. The Sierra Club said the road would be somewhat like this: "A winding road way along steep cliffs, drivers would also have to contend with icy freeze-thaw conditions." Dean Williams, a resident of Juneau for 90 years told The Juneau Empire, "The most dangerous thing of having that road is the 600-foot-deep water out at the shoreline... I'm not against the road if they could make it safe, but so far they aren't coming anywhere near it." Driving on the road would be a hazard to most people.

Another problem is that the construction company would not be able to make the road all the way to Skagway. The whole proposed roadway would be through the Tongass National Forest, and the part past where the road would end includes a historical site. Because of all this, the road would not be able to go all the way to Skagway. What is the point in having it any way?

The highway would be closed at least some time during the year. Along the proposed highway, there are an estimated 112 geological hazards. The state estimates that the road would be closed at least one month a year because of these dangers. Do you ever notice a road in Juneau being closed that often?

In addition, having the road would make Juneau unsafe. We would be susceptible to criminals in Juneau. Also, kids don't go missing that often, but with a road it would make it easier to kidnap them. The road would raise the crime rate in Juneau.

Most importantly, the road would disturb the wildlife and destroy the environment. We would have to cut down thousands of trees, cut through mountains and destroy a lot of animal habitats. The road would go around Berners Bay, which is protected land. Berners Bay is popular for being surrounded by salmon, sea lions, bald eagles and other animals. Building the road would scare off the wild life.

I think building the road would be bad for the people and the environment. It would be hazardous to drive on, they would not be able to construct the road all the way to Skagway and it would be closed at least some time during the year. It would make our town unsafe, and we would bother and destroy the wild life. All these and more are the reasons why I say no to the road.