Bridge could be named for former mayor Hamilton

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Commissioner Don Grantham wants to name a new bridge to honor an important former mayor, he says.

A new bridge, part of St. Sebastian Way expansion, spans the Augusta Canal. Commissioner Don Grantham has proposed the bridge be named after former Augusta mayor Hugh Hamilton Sr.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
A new bridge, part of St. Sebastian Way expansion, spans the Augusta Canal. Commissioner Don Grantham has proposed the bridge be named after former Augusta mayor Hugh Hamilton Sr.

The bridge, part of the St. Sebastian Way expansion project and spanning the Augusta Canal's first level at Walton Way, would bear the name of Hugh Lamar Hamilton Sr. if the proposal goes through city commission.

Hamilton, mayor of Augusta from 1952-1958, had a big hand in weakening the Cracker Party, once a driving force in city politics, Grantham said.

Born in 1920, Hamilton ran for city council as an Independent in 1951, then became the city's youngest mayor in 1952. In 1970, he was elected to Augusta City Council, serving until his death in 1974.

His tenure was a busy time for construction of projects still in use today, such as Gordon Highway, which opened in 1954; Augusta's Municipal Building, which opened in 1958, and the former main library on Greene Street, which opened in 1960.

"Additionally, Mr. Hamilton was instrumental in completing the annexation of the Forest Hills neighborhood, which significantly expanded the city's boundaries and population," Augusta Engineering Department Director Abie Ladson said.

Hamilton has many descendants in the area, including son Hugh Hamilton Jr., Grantham said.

"It was requested by the family, as well as other people who had known Hugh for a number of years," Grantham said. "It's a new bridge; it's not complicated by having to go through any legal matter of changing names."

Naming the city bridge falls within the scope of the commission, Interim General Counsel Andrew Mackenzie confirmed at a Monday meeting of the city engineering committee. The matter goes before the full commission Tuesday.

The St. Sebastian expansion project includes two other new bridges that will need names, Commissioner Joe Bowles noted.

The project, with an expected completion date of July 31, encompasses an extension of St. Sebastian Way from Walton Way over the first and third levels of the Augusta Canal to Reynolds Street; a widening and expansion of Greene Street from the CSX railroad crossing to 15th Street; improvements to 15th Street from Butt Bridge to Reynolds Street and the construction or widening of six bridges, including an off-ramp from River Watch Parkway to Greene Street.

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omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 05/28/10 - 12:50 am
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0
Jeebus. Ain't we got enough

Jeebus. Ain't we got enough roads/ bridges/ buildings/ objects named after people who kicked it? As its headed to the medical district.... why not name it the "put-down-that-second-cheeseburger" bridge? "30 million dollar overpass" has a nice ring to it as well.

justus4
113
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justus4 05/28/10 - 04:31 am
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Where are the minority
Unpublished

Where are the minority commissioners and are minority citizens being representated in these naming? And this guy who was mayor in the 50s, what was his actions regarding the Supreme Court decision on school desegregation? What did his city do? Was his belief in equality real or just lip service? History has all the clues.

disssman
6
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disssman 05/28/10 - 06:01 am
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Look folks this is a

Look folks this is a reasonable request from a "stake holder" on behalf of some other "stake holders" for a simple name addition. The problem is "does anyone know the name besides the family and Granthom? So what if he was alive when Gordon Highway was built or Lake Forrest was Annexed, were those times momentous in Augusta history? Why does it need a name to begin with? Surely there is a few thousand dollars involved with naming it. For a starter those brass name plates at each end cost a pretty penny in my book.

jb1234
0
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jb1234 05/28/10 - 01:25 pm
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I've got nothing against

I've got nothing against naming important buildings and the like after significant local figures, but how come virtually every single bridge or road or intersection or building in Richmond County HAS to be named after somebody? Just put up a plaque in city hall or the museum that lists every important person who's ever lived in or done anything significant in Augusta and call it a day. Heck, they could even put in a new exhibit at the museum called 'The Augusta Hall of Fame' or something like that. It might actually be a pretty cool attraction and would probably be a much better memorial to the person that just naming a bridge after them. That's just my 2 cents.

lsmith
105
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lsmith 05/28/10 - 06:55 am
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Justus4: plug it: There are
Unpublished

Justus4: plug it: There are many adequate reasons to deny this bridge naming, but minority considerations are NOT among them. Quit injecting black and white into every single argument you make. You're tiring and doing your cause more harm than good.
The best reason to not go through with this naming is that public buildings and facilities should not bear the moniker of any person, particularly politicians. Politicians have been pasting their own names all over things for far too long. Putting people's names on facilities paid for by all the people just serves to put one camp against the other. Why is it that politicans think they even have the right to name a public building anyway?
No disrespect to Hamilton, James Brown, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy or whom ever. More neutrally acceptable names can be found.
To make it worse an eye opener on this naming is that the brilliant idea comes from the family of the deceased. Oh, wow, let's name the county's animal control facility after his dog.

Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 05/28/10 - 07:10 am
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What a bunch of Politically

What a bunch of Politically Correct BULLSHIZZLE.

Washington Rd. Fort Gordon. Richmond County. AUGUSTA.

I bet 90% of the places and important buildings and institutions in this area are named in honor of important people. I am no expert on former Mayor Hamilton, but I see nothing wrong with a simple honor that goes to someone who served with no disturbing exit or criminal mischief in their history.

Having said that...our school systems LONG AGO wussed out and went the direction of "no humans" being honored with the names of new schools. That wasn't done because it was a good idea, it was done to avoid the debate, controversy, and quid pro quo mentality that crept into the process. Governing by taking the easiest way...it is to be expected by the kind of people who often run for office these days.

I wish such weenies would go jump in the canal. Right off the side of the Butt Bridge!

Riverman1
94246
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Riverman1 05/28/10 - 07:29 am
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I kind of like that "Put Down

I kind of like that "Put Down That Second Cheeseburger" name Omnomnom suggested.

Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 05/28/10 - 08:04 am
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I don't like the practice of

I don't like the practice of naming things after politicians, but I know I'm swimming upstream. But if the bridge must be named after former mayor Hamilton, at least be kind to the public and omit the “Lamar” and especially the “Sr.”

What kind of man goes around calling himself “Joe Blow, Sr.”?

tnjsw
0
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tnjsw 05/28/10 - 08:26 am
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I got it. Name it something

I got it. Name it something new like the James Brown bridge. Has a snappy ring to it.

Newsreader
11
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Newsreader 05/28/10 - 08:53 am
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Maybe we could name it "We

Maybe we could name it "We spent a lot of money to get a clear route to the medical district" Bridge.

abeecee
149
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abeecee 05/28/10 - 10:16 am
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But what did Mayor Hamilton

But what did Mayor Hamilton have to do with the canal? In fact, it seems the canal was largely neglected during his tenure. He also presided over the wholesale demolition of all the homes in Frog Hollow for "urban renewal." (11th-13th to D'Antignac). Over 100 people sued the city ovr this.

corgimom
38720
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corgimom 05/28/10 - 10:24 am
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"Oh, wow, let's name the

"Oh, wow, let's name the county's animal control facility after his dog."

Priceless. Just priceless.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 05/28/10 - 07:31 pm
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Good point Austin. Now I bet

Good point Austin. Now I bet some jerk is going to want the canal named after them.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 05/28/10 - 07:32 pm
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I'm some jerk.

I'm some jerk.

Little Lamb
49247
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Little Lamb 05/28/10 - 10:46 pm
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Commissioner Joe Bowles

Commissioner Joe Bowles noted:

The St. Sebastian expansion project includes two other new bridges that will need names.

I nominate former president Calvin Coolidge.

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