Don’t pave or widen Mountain Loop’s gravel stretch

Paving 14 miles of the Mountain Loop Highway from Monte Cristo access to Marblemount? (“Editorial: Pave Mountain Loop Highway with good intentions,” The Herald, Nov. 8) I have been driving that route since 1964. Back then the area was primitive with a few pullouts for overnight tenters. As years went by, and the road into Monte Cristo washed out, the loop road was casually maintained and not bad to drive until people started to take the loop as a short cut; then, as traffic volume went up, ruts and pot holes became problematic.

Yes, many back-country backpackers have access and they do not complain. “Residents and town officials in both Granite Falls and Darington want to see this section paved.” So, how do we know this? How many residents have voted or been actually counted? Why do the city officials want this paved and who specifically are they? We already have a paving and bridge problem in our state that is not properly funded, so why is there a great push from these few officials? I suspect it is motivated by the lure of money.

There are some people who use that route in a commute, but darn few.

I suspect only a small number would benefit. It is too pristene, too beautiful, too curvy, to close to the creek, too hilly and too hard to maintain , especially in the winter.

Simply widening the road will result in major destruction of fauna and flora, opening the canopy, and displacing nature’s environment, and pollute the creek flow, merely to accommodate more vehicles. So, greed is probably the motive, not mentioned in this unresearched editorial.

In my opinion; don’t pave or widen this scenic back road and do not reclassify it as a scenic byway. It is already a money pit with no services and only one payphone if you are lucky to know where to find it and scant cellphone reception. Not even the AAA has noticed it. Be content that it is primitive and do not wreck it for undisclosed personal, political, or corporate agendas.

Samuel Bess


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