Yellowstone Reopens a Key Gateway After Devastating June Flooding in 2017
In late June, the normally quiet town of Fairbanks, Alaska, received national and international attention after the massive flooding of Interstate 5 by the Juneau-area rivers resulted in the flooding of dozens of buildings in and around the town. The damage, though minor, amounted to nearly $100 million, the equivalent of $1,760 per person.
But a few months later, the town is once again looking into the world of commerce in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, and has reopened the Interstate 5 Bridge. The decision to reopen the road, and to reopen the bridge, came after some citizens voiced support for reopening a road in and around Fairbanks.
The city of Fairbanks was already planning to reopen the bridge in October, but citizens showed their appreciation for the reopening by voting against the reopening of the road that connected Fairbanks to the rest of the state.
The reopening was welcomed with a standing ovation during a ribbon cutting ceremony. A few days later, the bridge reopened for traffic, and the city took to Twitter to thank the citizens who had showed their support, writing, “Thank you for your concern & support—for Fairbanks! #reopenthebridge #ThanksSoMuch.”
The decision to reopen a key gateway was the town’s first public support of the reopening, and the bridge will officially reopen on Thursday, Nov. 16.
I have a lot of respect for Fairbanks and its current city planning officials. They have a lot of power, and some of the decisions that will shape the city for the next two decades rest with their hands, so they are very much in control. But I also believe there is a certain balance in everything they do.
When they opened the Bridge to Traffic after the flooding, they made a choice to allow only cars to use it in an effort to protect the town from flooding. That was a good decision. People in Fairbanks need to drive their cars through the city, after all, and