Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Bridge groups ponder what’s in a name

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The new Disraeli Bridge won’t be completed for several more months, but a number of community groups are already ramping up efforts to have the span renamed.


At least three groups have come forward with petitions to have the freeway and bridge renamed when the project is completed later this year.


As reported in the March 14 edition of the Canstar community newspapers, Elmwood resident Nelson Sanderson has started a petition to have the name of the bridge and roadway changed to Olympian Freeway to honour Manitoba’s Olympic athletes.


Another group has also recently come forward with plans to ask the city to rename the new $195-million bridge.


Sons of Ukraine Pioneers, or SOUP, is hoping to have it named in honour of former Winnipeg Mayor Stephen Juba.


Juba served as mayor from 1957 to 1977, and was instrumental in securing funds for the construction of the original Disraeli Bridge.


SOUP member John Melnyk said it would make sense for the city to honour someone who did so much on its behalf.


"He initiated a lot of projects in the city, and he was independent of outside pressures from political parties," said Melnyk, who lives in East Kildonan.


"We feel it would be a good honour because he was involved with the Pan Am Games, and so much more in the city."


There is already a park named after Juba in Point Douglas, but SOUP members say naming the new bridge after him would be a more appropriate honour.


"There are other possibilities to name a street after him, but we thought the new freeway would be appropriate," said Sam Hrushovetz, a member of the group.


"He was really responsible for the bridge, so why not name it after him?"


Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan), current chair of the East Kildonan-Transcona community committee which would have to make a recommendation to rename the bridge, said it can be difficult process to rename a street or bridge.


"Last year the city introduced an honourary street naming program where you could name a portion of a street after somebody significant," Browaty said.


"As the structure already has a unique name not used elsewhere, I rather like the current name and who it recognizes."


Melnyk said his group plans to circulate the petition to churches and other community groups in the North End.


Anyone interested in signing the petition can call Melnyk at 667-5849 or Hrushovetz at 668-9649.


In 2010, Greg Glatz and Marlo Boux, who hosted a show together on CJOB radio, submitted a petition to have the bridge renamed the Bachman-Turner Overdrive after Randy Bachman and Fred Turner.

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adrian.alleyne@canstarnews.com

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