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Parker bridge renamed Veterans Memorial

| Friday, May 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A flag bearer for the American Legion looks on during the dedication of the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Parker. TIM KARAN | LEADER TIMES
Rep. Donna Oberlander, Sen. Don White and Sen. Scott Hutchingson unvel the new sign for the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Parker. TIM KARAN | LEADER TIMES

PARKER — State and Armstrong and Clarion county officials gathered in what's often called the “Smallest City in the USA” on Thursday afternoon to rename the 1,140-feet long State Bridge in Parker as Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Originally opened in 1872, the bridge connecting Armstrong and Clarion counties over the Allegheny River, was damaged by ice and floods until being rebuilt as the modern span State Bridge in 1934.

The bridge was most recently closed for major repairs during much of 2012.

Sen. Don White, R-Indiana; Sen. Scott Hutchinson, R-Venango; Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion; and county commissioners from Armstrong and Clarion were among those in attendance during the ceremony and sign unveiling.

“This is a great day in Armstrong County,” said White. “Since (the beginning of the bridge) it's been hit by ice and floods and just like the troops, the bridge is resilient, durable and always comes back stronger. It's one of the most impressive spans of bridge you're going to see anywhere in this great commonwealth.”

Armstrong County Commissioner Dave Battaglia said it was an appropriate day to reflect on our veterans' sacrifices.

“Anytime you can honor veterans in any way, it's a privilege,” said Battaglia. “And it seems especially fitting that we're doing so on the National Day of Prayer.”

Oberlander noted that the bridge in its current truss-type construction has been serving the community for nearly 80 years.

“It's really a testament to its ability to stand tall, just as our veterans stand tall,” she said. “I look forward to this bridge being in use for the next 80 years or more.”

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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