View Poll Results: How do you feel about major new road building in Alaska?

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  • I'm against it. There are enough roads!

    5 31.25%
  • I am for a few small projects/improvements, but not many.

    4 25.00%
  • I support quite a few new projects. We need better, cheaper access and transportation.

    4 25.00%
  • Build 'em all! I'm pro-developement!

    3 18.75%
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Thread: Resource Roads and Mainline Ferry Replacement Roads

  1. #1
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Default Resource Roads and Mainline Ferry Replacement Roads

    This has been a rather contentious issue locally but it is clear that it has become a priority with some in our current government/administration.

    How do you feel about major road building in Alaska?
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  2. #2
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    In particular a road from the interior to Nome and any other "Resource Roads?"

    As to Southeast, the plan stated is to study roads with small regional ferries to replace aging mainline ferries at great expense as they are all getting past their useful service lives (in theory). That would require a great many regional roads as mentioned below:

    A road to access the North end of
    Revillagigedo (the island where Ketchikan is)?

    A road connecting Petersburg and Kake?

    A road up the Bradfield canal South of Wrangell into Canada?

    A road North out from Juneau?

    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  3. #3
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    This is a lonely forum...wow it actually echoes in here...e..c..h..o........e..c..h..o.., he he, that's fun!
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  4. #4
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I don't know... some of the road projects you mentioned might be pretty sensible and others (like a road to Nome) might simply be impossible to construct at any price. I'm not anti development but the projects we construct simply must have an economic ROI that goes beyond the state spending money on some pet project. New road construction up here is about a million a mile I was once told. Sparse populations, hard climate and bad terrain make getting an ROI difficult.

    I'd probably be in favor of maintaining our existing infrastructure in a more efficient manner- a lot of our roads are just in bad shape. The Richardson Highway comes to mind but there are others as well.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  5. #5
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I don't know... some of the road projects you mentioned might be pretty sensible and others (like a road to Nome) might simply be impossible to construct at any price. I'm not anti development but the projects we construct simply must have an economic ROI that goes beyond the state spending money on some pet project. New road construction up here is about a million a mile I was once told. Sparse populations, hard climate and bad terrain make getting an ROI difficult.

    I'd probably be in favor of maintaining our existing infrastructure in a more efficient manner- a lot of our roads are just in bad shape. The Richardson Highway comes to mind but there are others as well.
    I disagree with the ROI point of view if it's the only consideration.

    BP for example places 90% of its decision making on a short term ROI. Therefore things that have a long term ROI or a hard to define ROI don’t get done. Safety and longevity tend to fall off the list and as a result you get rigs blowing up and pipes corroding till they leak.

    And the farther away from business you get the less weight ROI should carry. Government should put more weight on “quality of life” issues than ROI. Would you want your police departments run on a ROI basis? “Write $10,000 more in tickets and we will give you a raise.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I am dead set against government deficit spending or spending until it’s broke. But the idea of running government like a business or letting business run government has a lot of different forms. Some of them are fascism, liberalism, progressivism, social democracy, and socialism.

    Sorry, I’m rambling. My point is if it opens more area to people for recreation and the state has the money to do it, it should be high on the list. ROI shouldn’t be a major consideration.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    My point is if it opens more area to people for recreation and the state has the money to do it, it should be high on the list. ROI shouldn’t be a major consideration.
    Quote Originally Posted by KelvinG View Post
    When I first came up here there was a saying “The nice thing about Anchorage is it’s only a hours drive from Alaska”. Now days I think Anchorage is about a 3 hour drive from Alaska.
    The ideology espoused in the first quote is what begot the occurrence observed and described in the second quote. This occurrence is in turn what will ultimately make Alaska just like the lower 48. To say that building more roads will lead to increased recreational opportunities ultimately and inevitably becomes a paradoxical assertion, unless one's idea of recreation involves nothing more than endlessly driving around on an endless network of roads with an endless number of other like minded people. Where does this kind of craziness end?

    I would prefer that we NOT continue down the road taken in the lower 48. We already know where that road leads.

    When I first came up here...
    Why do people "first come up here"? Everyone who has come here from somewhere else should ask themselves why they chose to move here, and why they want to do to Alaska that which has been done to the rest of this country.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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  7. #7
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Road are cheap,maintenace kills the budget. For the road to Telegraph Creek I believe it died twenty years ago and hope it don't come back.I have lived at end of road small towns and it sucks as store will always buy the same amont of goods and if tourist show up the locals are out for a week till the barge.If the stores buy extra and it rains no tourist and the stores has to throw it out and lose money.Folks need to live where it suits their needs best and be happy.If you live in the perfect place why would you need to go anywhere?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  8. #8
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    The ideology espoused in the first quote is what begot the occurrence observed and described in the second quote. This occurrence is in turn what will ultimately make Alaska just like the lower 48. To say that building more roads will lead to increased recreational opportunities ultimately and inevitably becomes a paradoxical assertion, unless one's idea of recreation involves nothing more than endlessly driving around on an endless network of roads with an endless number of other like minded people. Where does this kind of craziness end?

    I would prefer that we NOT continue down the road taken in the lower 48. We already know where that road leads.

    Why do people "first come up here"? Everyone who has come here from somewhere else should ask themselves why they chose to move here, and why they want to do to Alaska that which has been done to the rest of this country.
    LOL, I see your point.

    However I don't think not wanting to live in Anchorage means I need to begrudge people an opportunity to get away from it. When people show up at my property I don’t go out with my rifle screaming “Get the @#@$$@ of my property”. I go out and ask if I can help them. Usually invite them in for a cup of coffee or lunch.

    Back to the original question, there are still very few people per square mile up here. The problem as I see it is most of them have access to a very few square miles. Which puts a lot of pressure on everything, opening more square miles can only help.

    Times change, not much we can do about that. Either accept it, be unhappy about it or move. I’ve chosen to move. Done it 3 times now, each time civilization gets a little too close for comfort I move a little farther out. For people wanting to live remote it’s kind been that way since the time of Daniel Boone.

  9. #9
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga
    The ideology espoused in the first quote is what begot the occurrence observed and described in the second quote. This occurrence is in turn what will ultimately make Alaska just like the lower 48.
    Kelvin, I have to agree 100% with taiga on that observation.

    As far as RG's initial question, I don't feel too good about "major road building" in Alaska.

    As far as recreational/hunting opportunities, what I would like to see is investment in some hardened trail systems that ATVs can use to get from the roads into the backcountry, provided we have a mandate they must stay on the hardened trails, no driving off them even to retrieve game.

    A lot of times better motorized access can curtail hunting opportunities, not to mention affect overall hunting experience, if we don't put certain restrictions in. The Dalton is but one example, the public can now use the road but we have the DHCMA restrictions. By having those restrictions we continue to provide a helluva lot of hunting opportunity for everyone.

    And speaking of ROI, my thoughts are that major road building, or any road for that matter, is a catch-22 proposition, whether there is ROI or not. And the reason we can't get funding for improving or hardening trail systems or making new ones is because too few see any real monetary ROI. Another catch-22 <grin>.




  10. #10
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Few people and critters per square mile and the easier it is for them to share square miles the fewer the critters will be.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  11. #11
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Good idea Bushrat. I think our society puts far too much emphasis on the automobile. There is a lot of river/snow machine/atv access as it is to most any place. Trail systems seem to make a whole lot of sense for us. Along with that thinking I would like to see a lot more atv friendly legislation like down South where whole atv systems are built that allow atv's in town on roads, at gas stations etc... (the Paiute trail in Utah comes to mind).
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  12. #12

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    We could ponder basic land use philosophy, which states where land usage and impacts are high we should concentrate them, (more primary roads). Where usage and impacts are low we should disperse infrastructure. This tends to protect the interests of the broadest slice of the population, not just the interests of commerce, or of future development, or of a single village. I don't see any locations in this state that would justify new major roads. There are plenty of other infrastructure needs that could be fulfilled first.

  13. #13

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    Bushrat, that is just to cute a way to try to outlaw motorized access. We all agree the money isn't there to harden the trails to the National Park Service standards (even NPS people call them "troads"). I can hear it now "we never outlawed motorized use, just haven't gotten the money to build the trails yet". What a way to turn the rest of the state into a Park!
    Roads are built where trails go, because that is where people want to go, if there are no trails allowed there will be no new roads.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

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