Saturday, September 13, 2008

Assembly to target Knik Arm bridge

Perhaps it's news to some, but for many of us, all we were saying was "wait for it". And now that time is about to approach. Assembly members Sheila Selkregg and Patrick Flynn -- both of whom are members of the AMATS board (the state/city transportation agency) will be asking the Assembly next Tuesday to withdraw city support for the bridge and reallocate the millions in federal money to other projects such as upgrades to the Glenn Highway, and public transportation. Of course that decision to reallocate the federal money would come from our Sarah Palin. With the heat she's getting worldwide for lying about being against the 'Bridge(s) to Nowhere', I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up eagerly sending the 63 million in federal money back to Washington all for the delight of receiving positive PR. Anyways, before the Anchorage Assembly saw its massive change of seats earlier this year, the previous two members of AMATS were Dan Sullivan and Bill Starr. Representing the then conservative Assembly, both were able to get the Muni to support keeping money for the bridge. Times have changed since then however, and now a more liberal Assembly has replaced Sullivan and Starr with Downtown's Patrick Flynn, and Sheila Selkregg. Combine them with AMATS third member, the mayor, and you have a 3 to 5 majority (assuming the other two members who are state officials vote to retain support of the bridge). With the bridge project lacking an update on its current cost, its loss of George Wuerch and another member from the board overseeing the bridges construction, along with high gas prices and a renewed nationwide focus on what is being done with federal money, expect the Assembly to put a nail on the coffin for this one. I'll probably be at the Assembly to watch in joy.

Patrick Flynn's take

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