County council studies naming two more bridges

McCullough, Rooney touted for spans

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Not one, but two Allegheny County bridges soon could be renamed in honor of famous native sons.

A proposal to name a major span after Pittsburgh-born author David McCullough moved forward Tuesday with a unanimous vote by county council.

At the same meeting, Councilman James Ellenbogen proposed for a second time that longtime Pittsburgh Steelers owner, the late Art Rooney Sr., be honored in the same way.

Mr. Ellenbogen, D-Banksville, said he had made a similar recommendation more than a year ago, but it had never been sent to a council committee for review. "I've been more than patient," he said, pledging to push for review of and action on his idea.

Council's vote Tuesday sends the McCullough bridge-naming proposal to county Manager William McKain for recommendation. The most likely candidate for renaming after the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian would be the 16th Street Bridge. That span crosses the Allegheny River, linking Pittsburgh's Strip District and the North Side.

Mr. McKain would have 90 days to form a committee to study the proposal and make a nonbinding recommendation back to council. Council still has the final say on any renaming.

Mr. McCullough, who grew up in Point Breeze, will turn 80 next July. That landmark birthday would be a fitting time to honor him, Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko, D-Regent Square, has said.

The proposal to name a bridge for Mr. McCullough was launched last year by Chalfant resident Michael Connors. He spoke to council Tuesday night before the vote, noting that Mr. McCullough made extensive references to Pittsburgh in all of his best-selling histories and biographies.

Rooney, who lived most of his life on the North Side, was the founding owner of the Steelers, which his family still controls. A Pittsburgh street named for him runs down the east side of Heinz Field, where the Steelers play. He died in 1988 at age 87.


Len Barcousky: or 412-263-1159.


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