By: Milbank News Writer
As the Dunleavy administration prepares its first budget, the governor and his staff would be wise to review the history of state transportation megaprojects during the past 15 years. Realistically examining and canceling unaffordable projects would save the state millions of dollars on planning, as well as billions of dollars in construction costs.
Successive Alaska governors and legislatures have appropriated nearly $400 million in federal and state funds to transportation megaprojects, including the Knik Arm and Gravina bridges, the Juneau Access road and the Interior roads to Umiat and Nome. The projects’ need for billions of dollars in construction costs, however, ensured their demise.
Previous Republican governors have taken the lead in canceling these fiscally irresponsible projects. Gov. Sarah Palin canceled Ketchikan’s Gravina bridge, Gov. Sean Parnell canceled the road to Nome, and Gov. Bill Walker canceled the other bridge and road megaprojects.