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State officials celebrate renaming of Claymont Regional Transportation for Harris McDowell

Joe Irizarry/Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, and Sen. Tom Carper were among those celebrating the renaming of the Claymont Regional Transportation Center after former State Sen. Harris McDowell.

Gov. Carney already signed the bill in October making the name change official, but did it again just down the road from the still under construction transportation center as friends, family, and other legislators joined the celebration.

McDowell was overwhelmed and grateful for the kind words about him at the ceremony, but he also challenged lawmakers.

"Get a train that goes from Newark to Wilmington and straight through to Philly through the airport with a stop. It's expensive, yes. Then if it's expensive, investigate how you can do construction more efficiently. If it's some other problem, find a way to get the obstacle out of the way," said McDowell.

He also wants to see train service to Dover.

Carney says issuing those challenges is typical of McDowell.

"It's hard to see it today,” said Carney. “It takes a lot of work to do the kinds of things that he was looking at, but ultimately if you don't have that vision then you're not going to get there anyway."

The governor was also joined by bill sponsors Rep. Debra Heffernan and State Sen. Sarah McBride.

Carney says McDowell is deserving of this honor.

"It's so appropriate that this station, and his commitment to transportation be recognized by naming it after him. And so to the legislators who voted for it, for all those who have worked with Harris over the years in so many ways this is a special day during a special season," said Carney.

The station will replace the SEPTA station in Claymont, and it will have a new station building, new platforms, bicycle amenities, bus and trail connections, and more parking.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.