September 20, 2008

About that Road to Nowhere?

Earlier this month, I wrote an update on the Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere where I noted that Sarah Palin had no problem in building a Road to Nowhere simply because the funds had been earmarked for that project.

Here's a piece that expands on this boondoggle including the fact that Sarah Palin was informed the Road to Nowhere was a waste of taxpayer money and she could choose to return the money to the federal government so it could be used in more important projects including doing more to help the Hurricane Katrina ravaged Gulf Coast. But evidently, she thought putting Alaska first was the only thing that mattered even if it was a total waste of money.

When Lois Epstein approached Gov. Sarah Palin during a July 2007 meeting, she says she had a simple request: pull the plug on the construction of a $26 million dead-end gravel road that she saw as a waste of federal money. The road was part of the $398 million project to link Ketchikan and its airport on Gravina Island known as the "Bridge to Nowhere," and an earmark inserted by Alaska's congressional delegation had provided the funding. But construction had begun in June, and it didn't seem to matter that the infamous bridge--to which the road would have led -- would never be built. Every dollar spent on the project was a dollar wasted, Epstein thought.

Epstein, director of the nonpartisan Alaska Transportation Priorities Project, told ProPublica she handed Palin an editorial that had run the prior month in the Anchorage Daily News. The editorial, by Heritage Foundation fellow Ronald Utt, called the road a "wasteful" project with "little to no measurable benefit." It urged Palin to be "responsible and ethical" and "return the money to Washington" so it could be redirected to hurricane-ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi. Utt's piece reflected the consensus in Washington, D.C., and Alaska that no more money would be earmarked for the bridge project, which had become a symbol of pork-barrel spending.

Even the Mayor of Ketchikan thought the road was worse than useless.

Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, a Democrat, faults the Palin administration for building the road, which he said some have taken to calling the "road to nowhere." But it would be an excellent site for a footrace, he said. "It's a nice flat road. It'll be perfect for a 10K race. You could be confidant there wouldn't be any traffic."

You'll be pleased to find out that the construction for this road will be finishing up this week. So nice to see that Sarah Palin is looking out for ways to stop taxpayer abuse.

BTW: the LA Times has a great picture of the road leading to Nowhere.

Posted by Mary at September 20, 2008 12:57 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |
Comments

"The Road to Nowhere"

A fitting description of the Republican Party in general, although one word that might fit even better than "nowhere" is the word "Hell."

Economic hell.
Religious hell.
Unnecessary war hell.
Greed hell.
Fascist hell.

All given to our nation, and our nation's children, by the "Bridge to Nowhere" Republican Party.

Posted by: The Oracle at September 20, 2008 05:13 PM

Maybe it's an elaborte hunting trial for gun-toting hunting enthusiasts that poach bears that approach them and then claim self-defense? After they take their pictures with them of course..

Posted by: Daniel at September 20, 2008 07:26 PM

We've all heard about the money Palin kept for the unbuilt bridge to nowhere. What we haven't heard is what it WAS used for in Alaska. Why are there no articles on this? I usually find that where there is no story there is no scandal. Is that why there's no noise about what it was used for?

The people who were refused the bridge to nowhere are still taking boats to get home. But how did they travel across the land to get to the boats home prior to their road to nowhere? Don't they use the new gravel road?

Posted by: oneluckywoman at September 21, 2008 08:59 AM