Thursday, November 16, 2006

Austin to rename bridge in honor of Ann Richards

A downtown bridge famous for political marches, parades and a bat colony will soon bear the name of the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards.
The Austin City Council today plans to name the Congress Avenue Bridge after Richards, the quick-witted former governor who died in September of esophageal cancer. Richards led a march up Congress Avenue from the bridge to the Capitol on the day she became governor.

''Ann always worked to bridge the divides that separated people, and I think it is very fitting that we honor her memory by naming the bridge where she began her inaugural parade in 1991,'' Mayor Will Wynn said, calling Richards ''my friend, an adviser and an inspiration.''
Richards, a Democrat, served two terms on the Travis County commissioners court beginning in 1976 before winning election to state treasurer. Eight years later, in 1990, she was elected as the state's second woman governor.
Her re-election effort in 1994 was thwarted by Republican George W. Bush.
The bridge will join the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, a public all-girls academy in South Austin, as a tribute to her service.

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