Outstanding or failure: Assembly member disagrees over 'Bridgepocalypse'
An Anchorage Assembly member refuses to support a resolution honoring state and municipal workers who responded to the so-called “Bridgepocalypse” event in March that turned traffic on the Glenn Highway into a nightmare for thousands of drivers.
Amy Demboski was the only member to vote against the resolution commending the “outstanding” work of state DOT workers and Anchorage Police officers who responded to the damage on the Artillery Road overpass on March 21. Around 1:00 that afternoon, a truck that was too tall damaged the support structure and left debris blocking the southbound lanes of the Glenn Highway.
“I'm not going to support a resolution that somehow glorifies a response that in my view was inadequate and did not take seriously severity of the issue,” said Demboski.
Before fellow Eagle River Assemblyman Fred Dyson handed out certificates of recognition to APD Capt. Mike Kerle, DOT Commissioner Marc Luiken and the contractors who stabilized the damaged overpass, Sandstrom & Sons, Demboski voiced her displeasure of the pomp and circumstance.
Demboski said it took the Muni more than 24 hours to come up with a plan to re-route traffic on the Glenn Highway, a response she called unacceptable. She said the day after the crash, 11 schools in Eagle River and Chugiak closed after it took people more than five hours to get home to the Mat-Su Valley.
Demboski also noted that her plan was never to speak publicly about her displeasure with municipal leadership, however, she said Dyson’s move to pass a resolution gave her no choice but to speak out against what she called a terrible mishap.
“I think that is something not to celebrate but to learn from and I'm sorry to those employees I'm being forced to vote against this resolution because frankly, in my community, it's embarrassing the Assembly is even bringing forward a resolution to celebrate some great success that many view as an epic failure of leadership,” said Demboski.
It took Muni and state workers four days to clean up the debris and secure the overpass before they re-opened the southbound lanes of the Glenn Highway.
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