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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Bay Area Bridge Is the State's Responsibility

August 23, 2004

As a San Franciscan, I am perplexed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent comments about the Bay Bridge ("Governor Says Bay Area Residents Should Pay Overruns of Bridge Project," Aug. 17).

If the people of the Bay Area over the years can help bail out Southern Californians from natural disasters, then they can help us.

Some of the recent disasters were the Sylmar earthquake of 1971, the Whittier earthquake of 1987, the Northridge earthquake of 1994, the San Simeon earthquake of 2003 and the October fires in San Diego County, just to name a few.

The Bay Bridge was not the only structure damaged in 1989; we also lost the Nimitz Freeway, the Central Freeway and the Embarcadero Freeway, to name a few. Only the Nimitz is complete, and work on the Central Freeway along with the Bay Bridge has just begun.

The toll increase that we voted for in March should go where we intended. Now is not the time to play political games with people's lives.

Henry Flowers

San Francisco

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