In the decades of discussion and years of planning and assessments leading to the construction of Laramie’s new $29 million bridge, no one seems to have given any thought to its name. All the planning and consultation seems to have assumed that the bridge will be named for the street at its eastern end.
But, just as the bridge itself represents a connection between the sides of our city, the naming of the bridge presents an opportunity for Laramie to come together to define itself as a community.
Any one of us could suggest names, but how might our community collectively choose a name for the bridge? During the planning process, the agencies designing the bridge reached out to the stakeholders with an interest in its location and amenities. A similar consultation could be used to determine a name for the bridge.
In addition to amateur and academic historians, community leaders, and other stakeholders, I believe the City of Laramie should reach out to the Tribes, and, in particular, the newly established Native American Education Research and Cultural Center.
I am not sure Native people have ever been consulted about assigning place names in Laramie, but our sesquicentennial year seems like a good time to start, and this year’s celebrations seem like a fit occasion to announce a dignified name for our newest public edifice.