The Murfreesboro City Council is taking public support for the humorous naming of the ‘Bridge over Broad’ in ‘Tongue n’ cheek’ stride. An official proclamation issued by the City Council has endorsed the name ‘Bridgey McBridgeface,’ if only for a day on April 1, April Fools’ Day.
By definition, Tongue-in-cheek is a figure of speech used to imply that a statement, or in this case, proclamation, is humorously or otherwise not seriously intended.
“Shakespeare said, ‘A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool,” said Mayor Shane McFarland. “Who are we to question the wisdom of the people in the naming of a bridge, better to be a fool if even for a day.”
The City of Murfreesboro asked citizens to share their suggestions for naming or re-naming the so-called “Bridge Over Broad” by participating in an online web survey (ended Feb. 5). The name ‘Bridgey McBridgeface’ gained popularity in part through a social media campaign initiated by Murfreesboro resident Jeanne Vest from a story by Michelle Willard of the Murfreesboro Voice after the City Council announced in December it was accepting nominations to name the bridge. ‘Bridgey McBridgeface’ garnered the most votes in the City survey with 775 total submissions out of a total of 150 unique names. The catchy name was supported by a petition drive organized by Vest on change.org. The campaign generated over 4,517 supporters.
“The petition has always been about making people smile,” said Jeanne Vest. “By acknowledging the thousands of ‘McBridgeface’ supporters with an honorary title, the mayor and the City Council have sent a message that they respect the voices of the people who love this city.”
Councilmember Rick LaLance had first proposed “First Responders Memorial Bridge” during a Dec. 3, 2017, council meeting. At that time, Council decided to open naming suggestions to the public. The survey was an opportunity for citizens to participant in creating a name for the bridge. The final authority for naming the bridge rests at the state level and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).
The new bridge overpass opened for traffic in December. Known as “Bridge Over Broad,” the $22.8 million bridge project was needed to relieve extreme congestion at the intersection of Broad and Memorial, one of the busiest in the state. When final signalization, landscaping and paving are finished, it will create a single point urban interchange.
Meanwhile, tracing the history or saga of ‘Bridgey McBridgeface’ takes one back to the newest pedestrian bridge in Bristol, England. Officially named ‘Castle Bridge,’ vandals decided to unofficially rename the bridge with graffiti. In Bristol, ‘Bridgey McBridgeface’ failed to make the shortlist for the new official name.
In January 2014 when Bell & Associates Construction began work on the interchange, the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) on Old Fort Pkwy/Memorial Blvd was 27,240. The ADT on Broad was 31,430. By 2034, the ADT was projected to be 72,740.
For more information on the bridge project contact TDOT or Jim Kerr, City Transportation Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For City News online, visit www.Murfreesborotn.gov.