Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/06/2003 03:30 PM Senate STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          SB  77-WILLIAM RANSOM WOOD CENTENNIAL BRIDGE                                                                      
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked Senator Wilken to introduce SB 77.                                                                     
SENATOR GARY  WILKEN, bill sponsor, showed  members architectural                                                               
renderings of the  bridge crossing the Chena  River in Fairbanks.                                                               
Currently there  is a  40 foot abutment  projecting out  over the                                                               
river that will be finished during the 2003 building season.                                                                    
He read the following sponsor statement into the record.                                                                        
     Senate   Bill   77   names  the   Fairbanks   Riverwalk                                                                    
     Centennial  Bridge in  honor of  a  true visionary  and                                                                    
     leader for Alaska, Dr. William Ransom Wood.                                                                                
     Dr.  Bill Wood  arrived  in Fairbanks,  Alaska in  1960                                                                    
     with  his  wife Dorothy  Jane,  son  Mark and  daughter                                                                    
     Karen,  to  serve  as  the   fourth  president  of  our                                                                    
     University of  Alaska. After thirteen years  of leading                                                                    
     the  University  and  shaping  it  into  a  world-class                                                                    
     institution,  he retired  from University  service and,                                                                    
     with his family, decided to remain in Fairbanks.                                                                           
     Though  he  retired,  he   never  stopped  serving  his                                                                    
     community. Dr.  Wood was committed to  making the place                                                                    
     where he  lived a better  place than when he  found it.                                                                    
     He  fulfilled that  belief everyday  of  his 94  years.                                                                    
     Even  on  his final  days,  he  was offering  words  of                                                                    
     wisdom and  urging national,  state, and  local leaders                                                                    
     to begin or to finish community projects.                                                                                  
     Over the years,  Dr. Wood was a leader to  many; he was                                                                    
     the  Mayor  of  Fairbanks,   Chair  of  Fairbanks  Area                                                                    
     Community  Hospital  Foundation,  founder  of  Festival                                                                    
     Fairbanks, founder of  Fairbanks Industrial Development                                                                    
     Corporation, and 1985 Alaskan of  the Year. He was very                                                                    
     active in  Rotary International; serving  as President,                                                                    
     District 5010 Governor,  and receiving Rotary's highest                                                                    
     honor - the Service Above Self Award.                                                                                      
     At  the age  of 94  years old,  Dr. Wood,  as executive                                                                    
     director of Festival  Fairbanks, desired to commemorate                                                                    
     the centennial  of Fairbanks  with a  pedestrian bridge                                                                    
     over  the  Chena  River to  remember  and  respect  the                                                                    
     builders  of   the  twentieth  century.   As  Fairbanks                                                                    
     celebrates  its centennial  this  year,  it is  fitting                                                                    
      that this bridge be known statewide as the "William                                                                       
       Ransom Wood Centennial Bridge" in honor of a truly                                                                       
     remarkable leader.                                                                                                         
          Thank you for joining me in support of this                                                                           
SENATOR  WILKEN noted  the letters  of support  include one  from                                                               
Senator Ted Stevens who was  instrumental in securing funding for                                                               
the  bridge in  1999. The  following hand  written note  was read                                                               
into  the  record:  "Bill  Wood   was  probably  THE  builder  of                                                             
Fairbanks in this 20 century."                                                                                                  
He  advised the  bridge costs  $3.1  million. It  is funded  with                                                               
900,000  federal dollars  from Senator  Stevens, $2  million from                                                               
federal highway funds and $200,000 from the State of Alaska.                                                                    
He encouraged members to support the bill.                                                                                      
CHAIR GARY STEVENS described Dr. Wood as a great man and leader.                                                                
There were no questions and no public comment.                                                                                  
He asked for a motion to move SB 77.                                                                                            
SENATOR COWDERY made  a motion to move SB 77  from committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and zero fiscal note.                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    

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