Bill Renaming Bridges for Local Veterans Goes to Governor

The Senate gave final legislative approval today (July 10) to a bill introduced by Senator Don White that renames two bridges as memorials honoring the military service of local veterans.

Senate Bill 289 designates the Bairdstown Bridge on old State Route 22 over the Conemaugh River between Blairsville Borough, Indiana County, and Derry Township, Westmoreland County, as the “Blairsville Area Veterans Memorial Bridge” and a bridge on Route 85 over Plum Creek in Plumville as the “Henry Lue Weaver Memorial Bridge.”

With the Senate’s concurrence on amendments inserted by the House of Representatives, the measure now goes to the Governor’s desk for enactment into law.

Senate Bill 289 initially included only the Bairdstown Bridge, which Senator White sponsored with the endorsement of Blairsville American Legion Post 0407, Blairsville Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Post Number 5821, the Borough of Blairsville and the Derry Township Board of Supervisors.

“The community strongly supported this proposal and it was an honor to introduce this legislation on their behalf to recognize the members of the Blairsville area community who served our nation and answered the call of duty,” Senator White said.  

“We think this renaming is quite appropriate when we consider the large number of men and women in our area who answered the call of service to our nation when in war or in peace,” wrote the officers Legion Post 0407 in a letter of support. “We also want to take into account the immediacy of the newly dedicated Blairsville Area Veterans Memorial, positioned only several hundred yards east of the bridge. We think of this as being a befitting meshing of the two and also a capping off of the measures already taken to memorialize the great service and sacrifice of all local veterans killed or missing in action whose names are etched there in stone.”

The House of Representatives amended Senate Bill 289 to include several other bridge renaming proposals, including Senate Bill 669, which Senator White introduced to honor Henry Lue Weaver.

“I was honored to assist in shepherding Senator White’s bill through the House of Representatives in recognition of PFC Weaver and the countless number of veterans from Blairsville who have fought to preserve our freedom,” said Representative Dave Reed.  “My hope is that this measure helps serve as a public reminder, and acknowledgment of gratitude, for all of their sacrifices.”

Private First Class Weaver was a native of Plumville and graduated from Marion Center Area High School. He was drafted into the Army in August 1966 and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. PFC Weaver was killed in action on April 22, 1967, while serving with the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division, in Vietnam.

 “I am pleased that my colleagues approved this bill which recognizes PFC Weaver’s honorable service and sacrifice for our nation,” Senator White said. “This bridge will serve as a lasting reminder of the dedication and fidelity of this local hero.”

Contact:          Joe Pittman                 jpittman@pasen.gov