Anchorage 55.0 °F
Fairbanks 66.0 °F
Juneau 57.0 °F
Murkowski: "King Cove road decision was heartless"
ANCHORAGE - Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski took to the senate floor Thursday; outraged over the King Cove road project that has been rejected by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
The city of King Cove offered the feds 56,000 acres of land in exchange for a 206 acre road that would connect King Cove to Cold Bay for emergency purposes.
In December the proposal was denied.
In her speech to the senate Murkowski says "this was absolutely a heartless decision by secretary jewell it was a decision that she alone made and it will only serve to endanger the Alaskan native village residents of King Cove."
The estimated eleven mile road would have been used in case of emergencies when hoover crafts or life flight cannot reach the city.
"Were tired of this bouncing around on little boats with this nasty weather," said King Cove Mayor; Henry Mack.
"It makes me sick when I have to sit in the clinic waiting for life flight to come and pick my grand kid up."
Waiting is a common issue for most of the 950 city residents.
Thats why the mayor says they offered the Department of Interior more than fifty thousand acres of land.
"That was quite a few acres and we would give that up willingly just to have access to that airport," said Mack.
In a written statement interior secretary Sally Jewell cited an impact studies conclusion of potential environmental damage as her reason for denying the road.
However Mayor Mack says the road would have very little impact - not nearly as much as the current impact.
"This decision makes clear to us in Alaska that our lives; the lives of the people that are their just don't seem to matter," said Murkowski.
Last month Jewell proposed that local governments consider contingency plans in the event the road was not built.
The mayor of King Cove says the road was and is the only option.