Harrison Avenue Bridge to Become ‘Biden Bridge’?

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UPDATE: Representative Kevin Haggerty said he will no longer seek to name the new bridge after Vice President Joe Biden as it already has a new name.

(Original story)

SCRANTON -- An iconic spot in Scranton may soon bear the name of another Scranton icon.

Legislation will soon be introduced in Harrisburg to name the new Harrison Avenue Bridge after Vice President Joe Biden.

The new Harrison Avenue Bridge connecting Scranton's Hill Section and South Side could be done by the end of the year. The old one that's been there for almost a century has never had an official name.

A bill needs to be passed in Harrisburg in order to name the new bridge.

Every election cycle, we're reminded of the connection between Scranton and Joe Biden.

The former vice president is a native of the Electric City and State Representative Kevin Haggerty, (D) 112th District, wants to ensure we never forget our connection to "Green Ridge Joe."

"You have to look to somebody for guidance in this business, and he's the one I always have. So, it kind just came to me. What a tribute, connecting Green Ridge and the Hill Section to the south side of Scranton in name of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Bridge," said Rep. Haggerty.

Haggerty showed us the bill he plans to propose this week in Harrisburg to put Biden's name on the new Harrison Avenue Bridge. Its official name has always been the State Route 6011 Bridge.

Biden Bridge might have a better ring to it.

We went to a place where the former VP is favored almost as much as the food -- Hank's Hoagies in Green Ridge.

"Joe Biden's been coming here since he was a little kid, since he was 8, 9 years old. He's been back when he was a senator, back when he was the vice president. We love Joe Biden here," said owner Tom Owens.

And it's obvious. Signs of Biden's political career are just about everywhere. He has a coveted spot on the wall of fame.

And unless it faces opposition in the state capitol, which is unlikely, Biden's name could be on the new bridge, too.

"I think that's awesome," Owens said. "Can't think of a better guy to have it named after."

Construction on the new Harrison Avenue Bridge -- as it's unofficially called now -- is coming to a close. PennDOT officials say they plan to pour concrete this summer. The old Harrison Avenue Bridge won't be torn down until 2018.

The bridge is in an important spot, over Nay Aug Gorge and often thought to be a welcome into Scranton. Should the new span share a name with one of Scranton's finest?

"He's from the area and all that. He was our vice president. It's something we can call the bridge instead of the Harrison Avenue Bridge," said David Schmidtt of Moosic.

Rep. Haggerty still needs co-sponsors and the bill to name the bridge would be voted on in June. He's expecting it will pass and if it does, then he hopes Vice President Biden will make a trip home for the opening of the new bridge.

15 comments

  • Francis X. Kranick, Jr.

    Sorry, Kevin Haggerty’s reach is too far on this one. Let Delaware honor Joe Biden. Did Biden steer anything to NEPA? Did he secure contracts for Chamberlain? Get us businesses for our industrial parks? Do ANYTHING for NEPA besides look for votes? Aside from living the first 10 years of his life in Scranton, exactly why would Kevin Haggerty push this? To take the Duffy name from the bridge is a disservice to veterans. Maybe Mr. Haggerty can find something in Greenridge to honor Mr. Biden. Sorry, this is a poor idea.

  • Gary Duncan

    I’m really trying to be polite here. How does anyone justify renaming a bridge, posthumously awarded for a true hero, who gave his life in WW I, in favor of Mr. Biden? I like Mr. Biden, but there have to be other things , buildings, schools, etc., which could be named in Mr. Biden’s honor, but this one? I hope those that make these decisions, rethink this one. COLONEL FRANK DUFFY MEMORIAL BRIDGE – DESIGNATION Act of Oct. 30, 2015, P.L. , No. 56 Cl. 87 An Act
    Designating the bridge carrying State Route 6011 (Harrison Avenue) over Roaring Brook in the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County, as the Colonel Frank Duffy Memorial Bridge.
    The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
    Section 1. Colonel Frank Duffy Memorial Bridge. (a) Findings and declarations.–The General Assembly finds and declares as follows: (1) Prior to serving his country in World War I, Colonel Frank Duffy, known as “The Fighting Colonel,” was well respected in Scranton. (2) He served as president of the Scranton Engineers Club and head of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. (3) After the United States entered World War I, Colonel Duffy formed Company F of the 103rd Engineers. (4) On August 18, 1918, Colonel Duffy was tragically killed from an explosion of an enemy shell and was buried in a small French village. (5) Colonel Duffy was the highest-ranking soldier from Lackawanna County killed in World War I. (b) Designation.–The bridge carrying State Route 6011 (Harrison Avenue) over Roaring Brook in the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County, to be constructed on or after the effective date of this section, is hereby designated the Colonel Frank Duffy Memorial Bridge. (c) Signs.–The Department of Transportation shall erect and maintain appropriate signs to indicate the designation under subsection (b). Section 2. Effective date. This act shall take effect in 60 days.

  • Robert Borthwick

    Sid Michaels has an e-mail address. I have written him to ask for disclosure of how all can weigh in on this idea. I suggest we all contact the people who will be addressing it. If Haggerty repesents you talk to him.

  • J. W.

    This is ridiculous! We pay for the bridge, park, building, highway, etc, and a career politician who gets rich off of us for over 30 some years names the very things we pay for after other creepy politicians! How come they never name things after, Jesus,Vets, Firefighters,, Police officers ,or Indian Chiefs?

  • Justice 4 all

    Really? Biden? Funny how republicans push for infrastructure money to build bridges and highways and the projects get named after the ones who oppose them getting built! Where is all that casino revenue the last demorat that was governor promised would eliminate our property taxes?

  • Carl

    How about a sculpture on either end of the bridge of Joe creepy rubbing the shoulders of a female ( Ashton Carter’s wife ) or something like that ? or holding up Hillary from toppling over ? something sweet like that would be nice

  • Tom Tom Logan

    I am glad you hill billies elected a fine upstanding man in Haggerty. Does AWOL ring a bell? What a joke and a waste of time that this is. For one, he should not have been elected in the first place. Two, since we have to deal with him, shouldn’t he be working on something that actually benefits his constituents? Three, Biden left Scranton when he was 10 years old. I got a great idea. Let’s name every bridge around us on someone who left the area when they were kids. Even better yet, please resign and quit wasting taxpayers money.

Comments are closed.