Dear Editor, For Kirkland is a Washington State non-profit organization dedicated to creating a healthy, sustainable city by promoting service to the community, active citizen engagement in city decision making, and a robust, honest dialogue regarding issues facing our community and region.
In keeping with our mission statement we ask our elected leaders to support every effort to move forward with construction of a new 520 floating bridge to replace the existing structure. The vulnerable condition of the bridge is well documented pointing toward the very real possibility of a catastrophic failure in a wind storm or earthquake.
The replacement project has been studied for nearly 15 years and the time for action is now. The current recession has created a construction environment which will save millions of dollars in construction costs. The project will also produce thousands of well paying jobs for the especially hard hit construction industry at a time when those jobs are critical to our economic recovery.
While we understand there is more work to do to resolve the issues around the final design of the west end of the bridge we strongly favor moving ahead as quickly as possible with the projects on the east side of the lake which have been designed and agreed upon. To not move forward now with those projects would be to waste an opportunity to save the taxpayers of the region millions of dollars.
It is time, past time really, to build a bridge that connects communities rather than continue the endless debate which only serves to further divide the east and west sides of Lake Washington.
Dan Krehbiel, President