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Gravina Access Highway and Bridge Projects

NEWS: Gravina Highway Poll Results Show 71% Opposed to Gravina Access Highway

Poor erosion controls on display at the
contruction site for the Gravina Highway

A new poll released this week shows strong statewide opposition to the Gravina Access Highway, a project which will cost $25.7 million for 3.2 miles of road according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and which leads to a bridge that has no assured funding.

The poll, conducted by Hays Research of Anchorage, found that 71% of Alaskans are opposed to construction of the Gravina Access Highway under current conditions. In Ketchikan, the opposition was even stronger at 75%.

Gravina Highway Question and Complete Poll Results
Gravina Access Highway Story
Hays Research

Juneau Empire: My Turn by Carol Cairnes
Muskegger: To Build or Not to Build
NewsReader: Alaskans Like Palin, Dislike Gravina Project
Sitnews: Alaskan Oppose Gravina Highway

Read on to learn what you can do to help.

Gravina Island is the location of the proposed $395+ million bridge to nowhere. It is planned to span from the town of Ketchikan, over the Tongass Narrows and Pennock Island, finally touching down on Gravina. With the exception of the Ketchikan Airport, this small nearly undeveloped island is one of few islands in Southern Alaska to remain virtually untouched. Gravina Island is also what every Ketchikan resident views every day.

Even though Congress removed the funding earmark and the state can spend the money on any transportation project, the State of Alaska seems to want to go through with initial bridge construction. In November 2006 the State of Alaska gave a Notice of Request for Proposals for Phase 1 of the Ketchikan Gravina Island Access Project.

"The Project requires the design and construction of full width gravel roadway from the Lewis Reef Road near the Airport southerly to tidewater on the West Channel of Tongass Narrows, where succeeding projects will bridge across to Pennock and Revillagigedo (Revilla) Islands." according to the public online notice.

This Gravina Access Highway project, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation, was contracted out at a cost of $25.7 miilion on December 1, 2006. For this price we get 3.2 miles of road. That equates to about $8 million per mile. This contract was let by the previous administration under Frank Murkowski. The Gravina Highway was permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers on December 20, 2006, nearly three weeks after the contract was given to a company from Anchorage, Alaska.

Gravina Island is occupied by 50 people in 15 families. Many of these folks live there because the island has few roads. Alaska's former Governor Frank Murkowski has 33-acres of family owned land just south of Clam Cove on Gravina Island. Is there any wonder why Frank supports the Bridge to Nowhere and the Gravina Access Highway?

The communities surrounding this majestic island enjoy it for what it currently is: a fabulous location for subsistence hunting and gathering, a sanctuary for unique wildlife including the flying squirrel, and an historical and cultural symbol for the peoples of Native Saxman, Metlakatla, and Ketchikan. Those who are blinded by the prospects of overdevelopment throw the history and soul of Gravina Island to the side.

What Can You Do?

Write to our Governor Sarah Palin, and ask her to stop the Ketchikan Gravina Island Access Project. We as Ketchikan residents don't wish to line our former Governor's pockets anymore. We wish the funding to be re-directed to other transportation projects in Ketchikan and other communities around the state whom are in greater need of the funding for safety updates and repairs and vital, measurably beneficial new construction.

Sample Letter - Gravina Highway (PDF)
Sample Letter - Bostwick Road (PDF)

Go to the Official Governor Sarah Palin website and share your thoughts with the new Governor.

Gravina Island thanks you.

Roads and Bridges to Nowhere
How Three Words Changed Politics
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Veteran Care with Bridge Mention
NY Times: Bridge Going Somewhere - For Now 03.2007

ADN: Bridge to Nowhere cost rises to $395 Million 02.2007

Letters and Commentary
April 2007
How to Get to Gravina
Quick Hits! Gravina and other matters
71% don't matter!
Who Paid for the Poll?
Poll Explanations
Poll Disclosure
Fleeced by Gravina Project

Don Young, Pork, Gravina Highway, and Bridge to Nowhere
Poor Road Conditions on the Home Island
Bridge and Pork Barrel Politics
Bridge to Where?
Bridge to Somewhere
State Agency Covering Its Tracks
Anti-war, Pro-pork
Bridge to Nowhere v3.0
Bridge to Nowhere v2.0
March 2007
In Defense of Gravina!
A Fun Letter in Opposition
Roads are Silly; Vickrey a Fool Though ;-)
Gravina Documentation and Response to Opposition

LTE in Support of Logging Roads
Natural Gas, Logging, Roads, and So On

Opposing Point of View: Gravina Logging Road

Traditional and Cultural Use of Gravina

Gravina Viewpoint Appreciated
More Bridge Thoughts
Opposing Point of View: Bostwick Road
Anchorage Daily News: Governor On a Roll
Juneau Empire: Vast Doesn't Necessarily Last
Juneau Empire: Wrong Priorities for Gravina

February 2007
A Better Type of Bridge
Reprioritize State Funds to Veterans
Bridge and Roads to Nowhere
Wrong Priorities for Gravina Island
Seleyville (reference to Pacific Log and Lumber)
More Eyes on Gravina

Bostwick Road/Gravina Highway: Immoral, Illegal, Unchecked
Another Perspective on Gravina
All Eyes on Gravina
Opposing Point of View: Pro-Roads
Point of View on Gravina Roads and Other Projects
Be Good to Gravina (PDF)

Letter to Governor Palin re: Gravina Bridge
TCS Perspective on Gravina (PDF)
Governer Palin: Halt the Gravina Access Highway
Another Letter to Governor Palin re: Gravina Highway
Stop the Road Building on Gravina LTE
Editorial on the Bridge
Conservative Group Against Gravina Highway
Commentary on Bridge from December 2005

Two Fights. One Cause. Gravina.
Get info on the Bostwick Road directly below.
Check out the left column for the Gravina Highway.

Scroll down the left column for all the letters and commentary.
Thanks for the support!

The Bostwick Road to Nowhere

Logs recently clearcut line the Bostwick Road.
This clearcut will eventually be over 340 acres.

Gravina Island is currently being clearcut, and access to the timber occurs via the Bostwick road. We have monitored the status of this road for nearly a year, and construction continues illegally - without proper Army Corps of Engineers permits. The Clean Water Act is being violated as you read this.

As for the clearcuts, the activity is occuring on State owned lands and adjacent Alaska Mental Health Trust lands. At least ten cuts are simultaneously occuring.

The illegal Bostwick Road currently ends at this
massive stump garden.

We Need Your Help

The state of Alaska has signed off on the Bostwick timber sale on Gravina Island near Ketchikan. There, Pacific Log and Lumber mill owner Steve Seley finalized a contract with the Division of Forestry for a 12 million board foot timber sale in the Bostwick Bowl. The sale was made possible by construction of a 7.2 mile road through the former governor's "Roads to Resources" program. The Bostwick Bowl timber sale is located adjacent to a Tongass Forest timber sale that will be made available at a later date.

Each of the parties involved with the project - including the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and the US Forest Service - failed to be up front about the road when communicating with the public and the Army Corps of Engineers. No permits were sought for the project, thus allowing the construction to begin without proper oversight to protect water quality and habitat on Gravina. To date, over seven miles of road have been constructed, reaching beyond the majestic Bostwick Lake; erosion controls are all but non-existent; at least 8 unpermitted rock pits have been blasted; and 10 new clear cuts are being expanded as you read.

These highlight the activities still ongoing and still unpermitted. We fully expected a Cease and Desist order to come from the Army Corps of Engineers with the turning of the calendar. Due to administrative hand-tying orders from above, Corps staff responsible for issuing the order were prevented from doing so. Unfortunately, a significant amount of damage has already occurred, as you can see from the photos.

Sample Letter - Bostwick Road (PDF)
General Gravina Talking Points (PDF)
Gravina Roads Talking Points (PDF)
Where to send your Letters (PDF)
Send a Letter to Governor Palin via this site

1. If you are willing to write a letter for print, or to our Governor, please respond to this bulletin.

Go to the Official Governor Sarah Palin website and share your thoughts with the new Governor. You may also:

Governor Sarah Palin
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001

Call Governor Palin
Phone (907) 465-3500
Fax (907) 465-3532
State Info (907) 465-2111

2. Contact the Army Corps of Engineers by calling: 800.478.2712. Ask the Corps to issue a Cease and Desist order for the Bostwick road immediately.

3. If you are an activist and are willing to participate in direct action, please let us know.

4 . If you are an Alaskan who wants to help us deal with the Department of Natural Resources, please let us know.

Additional Gravina Info
Laws Associated with Bostwick road and pits

State of Alaska Gravina Page

Timber Sale Map: Bostwick #1 (PDF)

These trees were clearcut along the illegal Bostwick Road.

An approximately 500 year old Sitka Spruce...gone.



Tongass Conservation Society - P.O. Box 23377 - Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 - Phone/Fax: (907)225-3275
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