DENVER – Colorado had quite the reaction Thursday to a state lawmaker’s resolution that aims to rename the Denver stretch of I-25 the “Barack Obama Highway,” but some might be forgetting that there are other stretches of highway in the state that have been named for other presidents before.
I-25, as it passes through El Paso County, is called the “Ronald Reagan Highway” – a product of then-state Sen. Doug Lamborn, who had also sought to swap the names of Mount Democrat and Republican Mountain so the GOP-dubbed mountain would be taller, according to The Denver Post. The highway stretch was renamed while Reagan was still alive.
A portion of I-70 that runs through Eagle County was named for Former President Gerald R. Ford a year after his death (he had a home in the county), and a stretch of I-25 in Pueblo County is named the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway.
The Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels bear the name of Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower as well.
There are other Colorado roadways with names as well: The Ralph Carr Memorial Highway and Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway on U.S. 285 and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway near Fort Carson, among others.
But Rep. Dan Pabon’s Obama measure, which passed a House committee 12-1 Thursday with support from five Republicans, drew the ire of those still left with a bad taste in their mouths from the previous president.
“Instead of actually debating the bill to fund our highways, THIS is what House Democrats are spending their time on,” Colorado’s Senate Majority Fund tweeted Friday.
Instead of actually debating the bill to fund our highways, THIS is what House #Democrats are spending their time on. 🤔 https://t.co/hyGVdkiQWZ #fixtheroads #coleg #copolitics #sb001 pic.twitter.com/jb24arIxty
— Senate Majority Fund (@SenMajorityFund) April 20, 2018
Some others who left comments on the Thursday story were equally displeased.
“I will find a way to avoid that stretch of the highway. He tore our country apart. He deserves NOTHING!” wrote Cheryl Rock.
But others supported the idea, and at least one Republican senator brushed aside concerns.
Issue about naming a hyway after former President in Denver. Out of respect for the office this is done all the time. Every former President has this bestowed upon them in buildings,bridges and hyways throughout the country
— Larry Crowder (@SenatorCrowder) April 20, 2018
“This is an excellent way to honor one of our greatest presidents,” Chris Goldberg wrote. “The fact that it includes the section of I-25 going past Mile High Stadium, site of Obama’s historic Democratic Party nomination, makes it even better.”
Pabon’s resolution will next head to the full House for a vote, where it is expected to pass. But the joint resolution would also have to win approval in the Republican-controlled Senate.
The joint resolution also comes in an election year, with Republicans trying to keep their slim majority in the Senate, so despite early support from some House Republicans, it is far from a sure bet to pass both chambers.
There are already roads named after Obama in California, Illinois, Indiana, Florida and Missouri.