Barberton Bridge With No Name. What Would You Suggest? (OPINION)



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From the Akron Beacon Journal 2015,

In an decision that capped an emotional debate, City Council voted 5-4 Monday night against naming the Robinson Avenue bridge after slain Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner. Most council members said the overwhelming majority of their constituents favored not naming the bridge at all, or selecting something more general — like Memorial Bridge — that would honor other Barberton residents who have lost their lives in service.President of Council Fred Mauer cast the tie-breaking vote.

Jim Columbo wrote an insightful article in the Barberton Herald about when is the City of Barberton going to name the bridge? Jim Columbo suggests the city should name the bridge after Ebenezer Harris. A decorated Vietnam Vet and a Barberton person of color.

The point Jim makes, why the delay? It was five years ago that the naming of the bridge came up in the community. Today,  the bridge over Robinson Ave and the Canal is “nameless”.

Like the horse with “no-name”, Barberton has the Bridge with no name.

For that matter, we have schools with no names. What kind of names are West and East. The high school is Barberton High and the Middle School is called the Barberton Middle School. Is this a generational thing?  Most of us remember Decker, U. L. Light, Woodford, Memorial, Santrock, Arnold, and Johnson Schools. Do not forget the President’s schools of Washington and Lincoln.

One of the reasons there are no names for these projects is that there is a big divide on who to name these places after. There are too many MLKs, JFKs and FDRs. O.C Barber has been taken for the name of the city and that is out. 

My suggestion is that if suitable names can not be found in 90 days after the official debate begins, then sell the naming rights like Rocket Mortgage Arena and First Energy Stadium. We could have Al’s Sausage East and Leach’s Sausage West, or even BWXT City Building. If Bill Judge wins mayor again,  “why not the Billy Boy Bridge”?

Another suggestion is to charge people $20 to submit their name, and if pulled from the lottery of names, their name goes on a school or bridge, or just pull a Barberton water bill customer’s name, and they get free water and sewer for a year, and their name on the bridge.

The gist of all this epitomizes the fact that the city fathers and residents would have a mini civil war agreeing on a name. Then how did our forefathers name 10 elementary schools? The answer, NO SOCIAL MEDIA!!


  1. After reading Jim Colombo’s column in the current Barberton Herald, I agree that Mr. Ebenezer Harris distinguished himself through military service and service to the community, thus deserving his name in the Robinson Ave. viaduct. Perhaps he also belongs on The Walk of Fame!!

  2. Memorial Bridge. Then the city can sell plaques that can pay tribute to officers, firemen, vets ,people who served the city, just to name a few categories, there are so many possibilities. And those funds can be put toward fixing bridges in Barberton.

  3. It would be a great honor to have the bridge named after Mr Ebeneezer Harris. He was well known throughout the city of Barberton and also served our country well. He was respected throughout the city of Barberton.


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