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Friday, February 23, 2007 - Page updated at 02:32 PM

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On the Road

Bridge names | The real monikers

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

Q: We all know the 520 bridge is actually called The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge or, more properly, the Gov. Albert D. Rosellini Bridge, and the Highway 99 bridge is also known as the Aurora Bridge. But what about the I-90 bridge? What is its proper name? And why don't we call it by its proper name instead of the anonymous I-90?

A: Make that the I-90 bridges. The stretch of I-90 that spans Lake Washington is actually made up of two separate bridges, with two distinct, if little-known, names. The westbound I-90 floating bridge's official name is the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, after the Seattle School District engineer who first had the idea for a floating concrete bridge over I-90. The eastbound I-90 floating bridge is the Lacey V. Murrow Bridge, named for the director of highways in the 1930s, said Archie Allen, WSDOT's bridge superintendent for the Northwest region.

Allen confirmed that few people seem to realize there are two I-90 bridges, let alone know their names.

"I usually call it the Lacey V. and the Homer," he offered, "and some people (at WSDOT) say the L.V.M. and the H.H."

Oh, and by the way, the Aurora Bridge is also the George Washington Memorial Bridge.

However, most of the 1,345 bridges in the Northwest region aren't named for anyone.

It takes an act of the Legislature, and usually a grass-roots effort, to get a bridge named, Allen said. The person doesn't have to be dead to be the namesake of a memorial bridge, nor does he or she have to be well-known.

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In any case, memorial bridge names don't seem to stick. Allen can reel off a list of bridges whose names are rarely uttered in public.

Take that green bridge that comes off Beacon Hill to I-90 at I-5 in Seattle, for example. Most people call it the 12th Avenue South bridge, but it's actually the Jose Rizal Bridge, he said.

Born in 1861, Rizal was a martyred writer, activist and political figure who fought Spanish colonialism.

However, Archie Dega, the man whose moniker is shared with the I-5 bridge that goes over the Duwamish River near Southcenter, is a mystery. Allen remembers him simply because they share the same first name, he said.

Even if bridge names are meaningful only to the namesake and his or her friends and family, WSDOT keeps on naming them.

The agency recently completed a pedestrian bridge over Highway 99 in the Queen Anne area of Seattle and named it for someone, though Allen couldn't recall whom.

According to WSDOT's Web site, the Galer Street pedestrian overpass is officially called the Ray Moore Bridge in honor of former state senator who made the initial recommendation for the bridge, which links the Queen Anne and Lake Union neighborhoods.

Early warning

Kirkland: On I-405, expect daily closures of the north- and southbound HOV lanes near Northeast 128th Street except during rush hours while crews work on HOV ramps.

Throughout the week, crews will close alternate lanes in both directions between Northeast 85th Street and Northeast 116th Street to install signs and plant trees.

Monday through Thursday nights, crews will close the southbound exit to westbound NE 85th Street between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. to make ramp improvements. Sunday morning, crews will close the southbound exit to eastbound and westbound Northeast 85th Street between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. to install signs.

The intersection of 116th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 128th Street remains closed for reconstruction. WSDOT expects to reopen the intersection in late March.

Bellevue: From 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the southbound lanes of 110th Avenue Northeast will be closed between Northeast Fourth and Sixth streets for construction.

Amy Roe: 206-464-3347 or aroe@seattletimes.com

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