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Valley lawmakers renew call for renaming of bridge

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Staff report

COLUMBUS

In honor of Veterans Day, state Reps. John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th, and Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, renewed their call for support of legislation to designate the bridge on Mahoning Avenue spanning state Route 11 in Austintown the Women Veterans Bridge.

The intent is to provide Mahoning County with a commemorative landmark like the one already in Trumbull County honoring the sometimes overlooked contributions of female veterans.

“Women played a significant role in all of our nation’s conflicts, and this bridge memorial is one way to mark their contributions,” Boccieri said. “From battlefields to bond drives, women veterans have served faithfully to help earn our nation’s freedoms. It is only fitting that the Legislature mark their sacrifices.”

“This bridge naming is a recognition of the women past, present and future who have dedicated their lives to service for our country,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I am honored to be able to help shed light on the selfless sacrifices these women made as a part of our armed forces.”

The idea for the legislation came from former Disabled American Veterans District 7 Commander Leo Connelly, who approached Boccieri about the idea earlier this year.

Connolly worked with state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, to introduce companion legislation in the Senate as well.

The bridge would be only the second in the state honoring female veterans.

The legislation, House Bill 387, has 13 bipartisan cosponsors and was assigned to the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee on Oct. 31.