Should Market Street Bridge be renamed for former state senator?

WORMLEYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – What’s in a name?

A lot of emotion when it comes to a historic bridge that connects Harrisburg to City Island and Wormleysburg. It is called the Market Street Bridge. Thousands of cars a day use it. Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland) wants to rename it the Harold Mowery Bridge.

“I want to honor Senator Mowery and his family for his many years of distinguished service,” Regan said Wednesday.

The late Hal Mowery was a Cumberland County representative, senator, and businessman.

Naming bridges after former state senators is not new in the Harrisburg region. The Harvey Taylor and George Wade bridges both honor former state senators. The current Senate certainly liked the idea of memorializing its former member Mowery.

“This bill passed through the Senate 48-1,” Regan said with pride.

Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin/Perry) was the one no vote.

“There’s no support for renaming the bridge,” DiSanto said.

State Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) lives in Harrisburg and is also opposed.

“I will try to make sure that the bill doesn’t go anywhere,” she said. “No disrespect to the Mowery family, but it just doesn’t make sense.”

Kim is on the House Transportation Committee and says she will be a roadblock as the bill now moves to her chamber.

“My city feels ownership of the Market Street Bridge and to have somebody – a senator that doesn’t really have any ties to our city – to stick a name on our bridge is very uncomfortable,” she said.

Regan said his bill would not rename the entire bridge, just the span from City Island to Wormleysburg.

“I don’t know if you name quarter-bridges, half-bridges or whatever, but I know it stirred up a lot of constituent inquiries on my side and none of them were let’s rename the bridge,” DiSanto said.

There’s clearly a divide. Regan hopes to bridge it.

“I’m not sure why the controversy exists. This is truly a good man,” he said.

He added that he didn’t spend a lot of time contemplating a bridge renaming.

“It took me 15 minutes and I’m hoping to honor 30 years of service.”

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