Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) and Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito (D/WF-Rome) announced the passage of legislation they sponsored that will rename the bridge commonly called the Erie Boulevard Bridge as the "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bridge." The bill passed the Assembly and Senate in the final days of session, and now will be sent to the Governor for his signature.
"When I was first approached by the Afro-American Heritage Association, I welcomed this important measure to not only honor the slain civil rights leader in this respect but to rename this bridge as a testament to all Americans who have stood up for democracy and freedom," Assemblywoman Destito said. "The newly commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge will remind all of us, especially our young people here in the Mohawk Valley, of the struggles that took place to make this nation the beacon of hope and opportunity that it has become today."
"Dr. Martin Luther King's life has been an inspiration to so many of us," said Valesky, who was thrilled to help rename the bridge in honor of the famed civil rights hero. "This bridge will be a local acknowledgment of Dr. King's accomplishments and a daily reminder of his legacy as we strives to live up to his dream."
The bridge, which comprises parts of routes 69, 49 and 29 in the city of Rome, spans the Barge Canal as it enters the City of Rome. Later this summer, Assemblywoman Destito and Senator Valesky will hold an official dedication of the newly named "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bridge."