Google Map of the area
Click to view in a new window.

The nearly $400 million Gravina Access Bridge project, which would connect Ketchikan (population 8,000) to virtually undeveloped Gravina Island via Pennock Island over Tongass Narrows with high bridges allowing cruise ships to pass underneath, was cancelled by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on September 21, 2007. Gravina Island includes Ketchikan International Airport and has approximately 50 residents. In November 2005, Congress removed $223 million in earmarks for the bridge, however the State of Alaska still received the money for transportation projects.

In 2008, the state completed the 3-mile Gravina Island "Highway" on Gravina Island using $28 million in funds from a separate $48 million dollar federal earmark. This highway ends at a beach where the Gravina Access Bridge was supposed to be built. According to a state audit completed in January 2010, as of May 2009 the state spent $56 million on the new "highway" and the proposed bridge. See, also, Gravina Island "Highway".

Because the "highway" does not connect to the bridge and to avoid repayment of the federal funds expended, as of 2010 the state is preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. For more information, see the Alaska DOT project web site.

Media coverage:

The existing ferry to access the airport
Click to view larger in a new window.

Artist's conception of the Gravina bridge, AK DOT
Click to view larger in a new window.