Questions the need for bridge over creek
March 5, 2012 · Updated 10:56 AM
In response to “Fish passage is an important but small step of many,” page A4, Feb. 24 Herald:
Time and again, we’ve heard nothing but glowing accounts of how this bridge and further phases will bring back salmon over the coming years — but perhaps not for decades. None of these accounts, however, reflect testimony of uncompromised fisheries experts and hydrologists, just politicians and local advocates with no expertise except enthusiasm and hyperbole.
Some nagging questions come to mind:
Where is the expert, unbiased and independent support? None have been mentioned or quoted.
Is the muddy, smelly estuary with minimal stream flow even conducive to a viable salmon habitat? If so, wouldn’t salmon have navigated the relatively large diameter culvert, since they’ve traversed swift rapids for millennium? And didn’t they hang out in the upstream pool scoured by the increased velocity of water through the culvert? Where will they hang when the pools at either end of the culvert disappear?
If, 100 years ago, there ever was a vibrant habitat in Carpenter Creek, the culvert didn’t make it disappear — it was logging, human habitat encroachment and septic runoff. Just how will the bridge and many more millions spent bring it back? How many thousands of dollars per pound of salmon are we willing to pay? Water seeks its own level the world over, including here. At high and low tides, there wasn’t a millimeter difference in water level between both sides of the culvert.
What are these further phases alluded to and their costs in terms of borrowed or increased tax assessment money?
Why was the bridge contract awarded to a California firm? Were there any contributions to the politicians by the contractor? If none, why the enthusiasm by these tax-and-spend politicians?
Salmon don’t vote, but the uninformed and lemming-like do, unfortunately. And we are rapidly running out of other people’s money.
These and perhaps other questions need factual answers, not more grandiose and beautiful statements. Oh, the new bridge looks great, but it is a colossal waste and akin to the Bridge to Nowhere, in my “ungrateful creature” opinion. We need factual and full disclosure of the overall plan, together with non-political, non-encumbered, expert testimony as to viability, time frame, and cost estimates with their tax burden before proceeding further, if ever.