Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bridge to Nowhere Officially Going Nowhere

It appears nobody was going there, anyway.

Alaska ends plan for `bridge to nowhere'
JUNEAU, Alaska - Some called it a bridge to the future. Others called it the bridge to nowhere.

On Friday, Alaska decided the bridge really was going nowhere, officially abandoning the project in Ketchikan that became a national symbol of federal pork-barrel spending.

While the move closes a chapter that has brought the state reams of ridicule, it also leaves open wounds in a community that fought for decades to get federal help.

"We went through political hot water — tons of it — and not just nationally but internationally," Ketchikan-Gateway Borough Mayor Joe Williams said. "We have nothing to show for it."

The $398 million bridge would have connected Ketchikan, on one island in southeastern Alaska, to its airport on another nearby island.

Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday the project was $329 million short of full funding.

"We will continue to look for options for Ketchikan to allow better access to the island," the Republican governor said. "The concentration is not going to be on a $400 million bridge."

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