New Law Renames Five Indiana Bridges

A measure signed into law last week renames five Indiana County bridges, according to Senator Joe Pittman.

Act 102 of 2019 was amended to rename several roads and bridges across the state, including the five local bridges.

 “As part of the legislative process the bill was amended to include the language of four bills introduced by former Senator Don White and one that I introduced,” said Senator Pittman. “I am pleased that the bill was signed into law and I will now work with PENNDOT to ensure that the signs will soon be put in place to provide a lasting tribute to these individuals.”

The bills amended into Act 102 include:

Senate Bill 227, introduced by Senator White, which renames the Route 56 bridge over the Conemaugh River as the “Specialist Beverly S. Clark Memorial Bridge.” Specialist Clark, a native of Indiana County, joined the Westmoreland County-based 14th Quartermaster Detachment of the Army Reserves upon graduation from high school. On Feb. 25, 1991, Specialist Clark, then 23 years of age, was killed during a Scud missile attack on the United States military barracks at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Senate Bill 228, introduced by Senator White, which renames the Route 553 bridge over Dutch Run in Pine Township as the “Private Chancy Franklin Davis Memorial Bridge.” Private Davis was born March 28, 1924, in Alverda, Indiana County, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a member of the 3rd Marine Division. On Nov. 20, 1943, Private Davis was killed in the Battle of Piva Forks while defending against a Japanese counterattack against the American landings at Torakina Bay in the Solomon Islands.

Senate Bill 229, introduced by Senator White, which renames the Route 403 bridge over Dixon Run in Clymer as the “PFC Martin J. Popson Memorial Bridge.” PFC Popson, of Penn Run, served in the Army in World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest medal, for extraordinary heroism in action during the liberation of Manila. He also received a Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon.

Senate Bill 231, introduced by Senator White, which renames the Route 422 bridge over Yellow Creek in Cherryhill Township as the “PFC Ralph E. Dias Memorial Bridge.” PFC Dias, of Shelocta, served in Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force in Vietnam. On Nov. 12, 1969, PFC Dias, then 19 years of age, was killed in combat in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.

 PFC Dias was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge, the Meritorious Unit Commendation with one bronze star, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation with palm and frame, the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation with palm and frame and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device.

Senate Bill 824, introduced by Senator Pittman, which renames the Route 119 bridge over Yellow Creek in Center Township as the “Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Robertson Memorial Bridge.”  Dr. Hilliard-Robertson lived a life of service to others and as an exemplary role model for women in STEM education. Representative Jim Struzzi introduced a companion bill, House Bill 2035, in the House of Representatives.

Dr. Hilliard-Robertson was born on March 12, 1963, in Indiana and grew up in Homer City. Dr. Hilliard-Robertson graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1985 and the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1989. She then completed a three-year residency in family medicine and was certified by the American Board of Family Practice.  In 1995, Dr. Hilliard-Robertson was one of two fellows selected to study aerospace medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston and at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.

Dr. Hilliard-Robertson joined the Flight Medicine Clinic at Johnson Space Center in 1997 and served as the Chairman of the Bone, Muscle and Exercise Integrated Product Team. In 1998, NASA selected Dr. Hilliard-Robertson for the Astronaut Candidate Training program. Upon completing training, Dr. Hilliard-Robertson served as the office representative for the Crew Healthcare System and as Crew Support Astronaut for the International Space Station Expedition-2 Crew.


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