Metsa Bill to Rename Hwy. 53 Bridge After Spec. Pierce Passes Transportation Panel

The bill will designate the bridge passing over Fayal Road and Highway 37 as the “Specialist Noah Pierce Bridge."

St. Paul, Minn. – Legislation carried by Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL – Virginia) to rename the Highway 53 bridge just south of Eveleth after a U.S. Army veteran who lost his battle with PTSD cleared its first committee hurdle.

The bill, which would designate the bridge passing over Fayal Road and Highway 37 as the “Specialist Noah Pierce Bridge,” passed out of the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee today.

Following two tours in Iraq, Spec. Pierce struggled with PTSD. In 2007, he took his own life. Last Wednesday, WDIO reporter Renee Passal shared the news of Rep. Metsa’s legislation with Spec. Pierce’s mother, Cheryl Softich. It is believed that this would be the first bridge in the country to be named after a soldier lost to PTSD.

“So many soldiers across the country come home, often to rural areas, and experience the same struggle Noah had,” Rep. Metsa said. “By naming this bridge after Spec. Pierce, we can remember him while raising awareness of the battle so many veterans have with PTSD. Beyond this bill, I’m committed to working toward solutions to get veterans the resources they need so we don’t lose any more of them to PTSD.”

Rep. Metsa first started discussing the prospects of renaming the bridge with Spec. Pierce’s family about two years ago.

“While this effort may be a small step to honor Noah’s memory, I know it will have a tremendous impact on his family and our community,” said Rep. Metsa. “It’s my honor to carry this bill.”

The bill, HF 4164, will next be considered by the House Transportation Finance Committee.

Rep. Metsa encourages constituents to write or call with feedback, questions, or ideas about any legislative topic. He can be reached by phone at the Capitol at 651-296-0170 or by email at rep.jason.metsa@house.mn. To receive periodic updates from the Legislature, constituents are encouraged to sign up for his email list. A link to subscribe is available on his House webpage at http://www.house.mn/6b.

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