Indiana lawmakers want eastern bridge named for Lewis and Clark - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana lawmakers want eastern bridge named for Lewis and Clark

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A group of Indiana lawmakers is pushing for the Ohio River Bridges Project’s eastern span to be named for explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

A resolution filed in the Indiana General Assembly urges state transportation officials to name the bridge for Lewis and Clark, who explored the western United States in the early 19th century after the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase. The pair planned the journey in Clarksville, Ind., and traveled on the river on their way to St. Louis to formally start the expedition.

Will Wingfield, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said the state typically works to name structures according to recommendations passed by the legislature. Roughly 60 bridges and 100 highway sections have been named.

"This is the customary process that's followed," he said.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, is co-sponsored by 10 other legislators, including Reps. Terry Goodin, D-Austin, and Ed Clere, R-New Albany. Stemler, who previously proposed naming the downtown bridge for Abraham Lincoln, said the name is a consensus reached by members of the House and Senate.

"We think it's a very fitting name," he said.

Last November, former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear issued an executive order shortly before leaving office directing Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock to name the new Interstate 65 bridge for Lincoln. Kentucky is in charge of the downtown part of the $2.3 billion project.

Indiana oversees the eastern bridge between Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky., that is still under construction.

The News and Tribune reported Wednesday that the House could vote on the resolution Thursday, followed by a Senate committee vote on Friday. Stemler confirmed that schedule.

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