Legislature gives DOT bridge, reduces KABATA’s role – Alaska Journal of Commerce – May Issue 1 2014 – Anchorage, AK   Leave a comment

Legislature gives DOT bridge, reduces KABATA’s role – Alaska Journal of Commerce – May Issue 1 2014 – Anchorage, AK.

I support privatization of many public transportation systems — busses, trains, etc. And, there are instances where I think roads could be privatized without a problem.

However, KABATA (the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority) has been characterized by a lot of apparent corruption. Maybe it’s the officers involved, maybe it’s the strange Alaskan capitalist-socialist enigma, maybe it’s just that the bridge is needed to spur economic development of the port at Point McKenzie so that the costs have to be front-ended before the value of the bridge can be achieved — but I think this is a time when the State of Alaska made the right decision in putting the project with the agency that has actually overseen road projects in the past. After the bridge is built (which is a necessary thing for the continued growth of shipping in Alaska), KABATA (perhaps with new officers making sane salaries) can make it profitable. If Point McKenzie becomes what it has the potential to become, the bridge will more than pay for itself within 20 years.

This is similar to the natural gas pipeline. It costs to build it, but once it is built, it can be developed into the goose that laid the golden egg.

It was all well and good to wait for private industry to build these things, but when private industry tap-dances for 40 years, it is insanity for an owner-state like Alaska to keep waiting on them while our economy strangles slowly from lack of the ability to get our resources to market.

Posted May 2, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska

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