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9/13/2017
Southeast needs a seat

Ketchikan and southern Southeast Alaska will want to be represented on the new Highway Advisory Board.

Gov. Bill Walker established the board earlier this month. The board will mimic the Alaska Marine Highway System advisory board and be as important to the communities of Southeast.

Seven Alaskans will be asked to serve on the board, representing the commercial trucking industry, municipalities and rural areas of the state. Terms will be for four years.

The highway board will provide input into the building and repair of Alaska’s roaded infrastructure. While most of the state’s roaded highways are in other regions of the state, Southeast isn’t without its own, and their maintenance is a common topic in Southeast communities.

“Every single Alaskan interacts with our road system somehow — commuting, delivering goods and services, or simply to enjoy the beauty of the Last Frontier,” Walker says. “Maintaining Alaskans’ quality of life means maintaining our roads and bridges …”

Ketchikan and other Southeast communities are fortunate in the roads the state has built in the region, and many of those are being maintained well. But, like with most things, the work is never done.

Southeast shouldn’t be without representation on the board. And, a Ketchikan representative would do as well as one from any other community in the region.