The renaming of the DuBoistown Bridge after a local soldier killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan awaits only Gov. Tom Corbett's signature before it becomes official.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Abram Howard died July 27, 2010, from injuries suffered in an ambush while on patrol in the Helmand Province. Howard, 21, was a resident of Williamsport.
If Corbett signs the bill, a ceremony will be held next month to name the bridge, which spans the Susquehanna River and links Williamsport to DuBoistown, the Lance Cpl. Abram Howard Memorial Bridge.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
The new DuBoistown Bridge, also known locally as the Arch Street Bridge, will be renamed the Lance Cpl. Abram Howard Memorial Bridge. The bridge is expected to open Nov. 16, according to Rick Mason, of the state Department of Transportation.
After more than a year of moves in the state General Assembly, legislation recently was passed to officially rename the bridge, which many still refer to as the Arch Street Bridge.
The bill first was introduced in the House in September 2011 by state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport. Among its many supporters was state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy.
In April, the bill was sent to the Senate, where it came back to the House as an amendment by state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, as part of a piece of legislation renaming a number of bridges in the state.
"Lance Cpl. Howard was a brave soldier who put himself in harm's way to protect our way of life," Yaw said. "His death is a tragic reminder of the dangers that our men and women in uniform face every day while serving overseas. Renaming the bridge in his honor will serve as a lasting reminder of his sacrifices and ensure that his legacy is not forgotten."