Should We Repurpose Warships Into Roadways?
It’s a not a new idea, but it remains a fascinating one, especially as shipbuilding has become more advanced and efficient infrastructure improvements have become more imperative. In response to the passing of a new highway bill in Washington, one state representative proposes a very unique plan to build a new bridge.
Commuting Across A Couple Aircraft Carriers
Meant to connect Port Orchard to Bremerton, the new bridge would consist of two-to-three retired aircraft carriers, linked together across the Sinclair Inlet. If built, the bridge would allow motorists the unique opportunity to take their car across the carriers in what would surely be the highlight of just about any commute.
Jesse Young, the Washington State Rep who proposed the idea says the bridge would attract travelers from near and far. Young also said that carrier span would serve as a “testimony and legacy memorial to our greatest generation.”
Not Quite Up For Grabs
While the bridge would certainly be interesting and probably make drivers a little more willing to hand over tolls for such a unique experience, there are a few wrenches in the proposed plan. Young already has two retired aircraft carriers in mind for the project; however, the U.S. Navy has said that the vessels currently moored at Bremerton naval shipyard are unavailable for such a purpose.
One, the USS Independence is said to be destine for ship recycling in Texas later this year. The other, the USS Kitty Hawk, is functioning as a reserve until the USS Gerald Ford, a new supercarrier, is fully operational.
Even after that time, The Kitty Hawk will more likely become a museum or simply disposed of in accordance with current U.S. Navy policy.
Will The Idea Survive?
The obstacles haven’t swayed Rep. Young, who claims he will still pursue the idea and has proposed a $90,000 feasibility study, which would be due in December of this year. The proposal would also have to survive Washington’s upcoming 2015-17 state transportation budget negotiations and finalization.
Supporters and critics have already started voicing their reactions. Some have commended the idea for its ingenuity and traffic benefits while others see it as impractical or even laughable.
What are your thoughts on this proposal? Is this a novel and efficient approach to updating infrastructure and honoring military history, or is this an unrealistic notion that could waste considerable time and cost in the state of Washington?
If it comes to fruition, would you be eager to see and drive across an aircraft carrier bridge?