Commission looks to rename bridge for state trooper

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Monday, July 29, 2013 4:24pm
  • Local News

The Washington State Transportation Commission on Tuesday will consider renaming the rebuilt Skagit River bridge on I-5 in memory of Sean O’Connell, the Washington State Patrol trooper killed while working on a detour route following the bridge collapse in May.

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau and Captain Jeff Sass of the state patrol’s Marysville office will make their pitch to commissioners who are meeting in Seattle. The hearing is slated to begin around 11:30 a.m. It will be televised on and webcast by TVW and webcast as well on www.tvw.org.

The bridge collapsed after getting struck by a truck with an oversized load. O’Connell died after his motorcycle collided with a box truck May 30 near Conway while working the detour.

Soon after, Rankin and Reps. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon and Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, announced plans to asked the commission to put O’Connell’s name on the span.

“Renaming the bridge in Officer O’Connell’s honor is just a small token of our gratitude for his 16 years of dedication to our state, but it doesn’t even begin to display the level of appreciation all Washingtonians have for his service or the heartache and compassion we feel for his family in the wake of his loss,” they said at the time.

In the meantime, a Bothell man has filed paperwork for an initiative to the Legislature to rename the span for Mukilteo’s Tim Eyman, the promoter of anti-tax initiatives.

The earliest that measure could reach the ballot is November 2014. If commissioners put O’Connell’s name on the bridge and then the initiative makes the ballot, voters could be deciding whether the trooper or Eyman should have their name on the structure.

More in Local News

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Add deputies and bump taxes a bit, executive proposes

Dave Somers’ Snohomish County budget proposal also would address traffic problems in neighborhoods.

County councilman proposes banning safe injection sites

Nate Nehring says county officials also should find “credible, long-term solutions to addiction.”

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

They chose the longshot candidate to fill a vacant seat

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick will serve as representative for the 39th legislative district.

Alien brain? No, a colony of harmless freshwater creatures

Bryozoans are tiny invertebrates that live in jelly-like masses, and their presence is a good thing.

Definitely not Christmas in July for parched young trees

“I live in Washington. I should not have to water a Christmas tree,” says one grower. But they did.

Most Read