The state Transportation Commission agreed Tuesday to name the Interstate 5 span that collapsed into the Skagit River in May after former State Patrol trooper Sean M. O'Connell Jr. The 38-year-old trooper died while directing traffic around that freeway collapse.
The decision was made during a meeting of the commission in Seattle and came at the request of three Democratic lawmakers from the 40th district - Sen. Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island, Rep. Jeff Morris of Mount Vernon and Kristine Lytton of Anacortes.
"The Commission unanimously and enthusiastically agreed to name the bridge for Trooper O'Connell,” Dan O’Neal, commission chairman, said in a news release issued by Ranker and Senate Democrats. “I can't think of a more fitting tribute."
Also supporting the name change, according to the news release, were “Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau, Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton, co-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee Sen. Tracey Eide, Chief of the Washington State Patrol John Batiste, the Regional Administrator of the Washington State Department of Transportation, Lorena Eng, and the Skagit County Commissioners.”
The bridge would be called the Trooper Sean M. O'Connell Jr. Memorial Bridge.