State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced that a flurry of bills they sponsored to create memorial highways for Mahoning Valley icons and a bridge in honor of women veterans unanimously passed the Ohio House. House Bill (HB) 376 would create a memorial highway along U.S. Route 422 for Harry Meshel, HB 375 designates part of State Route 680 outside of Youngstown State University as “Frank Watson Memorial Highway” and HB 387 named the Austintown bridge on Mahoning Avenue and State Route 11 the “Women Veterans Bridge.”

“I’m glad to see that the legislature has moved to honor the accomplishments of Harry Meshel and Frank Watson, two individuals who played such significant roles in spurring economic and educational growth in the Valley,” Boccieri said. “It is also a great honor to pass this legislation recognizing the contributions of female veterans who've served our country. Their sacrifices will not be forgotten.”

All three pieces of legislation were combined into Senate Bill 134 for expedited passage. Each bill also had bipartisan cosponsorship.

“It’s important to honor people whose work has done so much for our communities, our state and our country,” said Lepore-Hagan. “The commitment, leadership and sacrifice demonstrated by the late Harry Meshel and Frank Watson, as well as women’s veterans have truly benefited the residents of Mahoning Valley. These memorials are humble testaments to our appreciation for them.”

The “Women Veterans Bridge” in Austintown would be only the second in the state honoring female veterans.

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