Pa. lawmaker strives to abridge the ceremony of naming public works
April 2, 2012By Mary Wilson
A freshman in the state Legislature is looking to put an end to the name calling in Pennsylvania. Name calling of roads and bridges, that is.
It does happen, in the course of human events, that the House or Senate will gavel into session, pass a few bills to name roads and bridges, and gavel out again.
And it was surprising to state Rep. Warren Kampf, R-Chester, who says he didn't expect to spend so much time naming things.
"It didn't strike me as a core function for the General Assembly," he said.
Kampf said he's not for dismissing the naming process, just that it shouldn't fall under the Legislature's duties.
"You know, I still view it as important. A lot of these roads and bridges are named after people that have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for, for us," Kampf said.
John Rafferty, chairman of the Senate's transportation committee, says he doesn't see anything wrong with naming bridges through legislation.
The Montgomery County Republican says most of the roads and bridges become memorials to military veterans and prominent officials.
And they're almost never controversial, he says, except for that time when someone proposed to name a bridge that had yet to be built.
"And I refused. I said that I will do road naming and bridge naming only when there is something actually to affix the plaque to," Rafferty said. "So you aren't going to do one until there's an actual bridge."
Kampf expects to introduce his bill this week. He's proposes leaving the naming largely to PennDOT.