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Restoring and educating the public about the Washington Memorial Bridge's is one group's objective

Restoring the original Washington Street Bridge in Wilmington and building awareness of its history is the goal of one group.

The Washington Memorial Bridge was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1922 and renamed as a memorial to Delawareans who lost their lives in the six wars from the Revolutionary War through World War I.

The Friends of the Furness Railroad District is leading the effort to return the bridge to the public consciousness - restoring pride in its history, architectural beauty, and its connection with military veterans, their families, and the community.

Jim Tevebaugh is the chairman of the Washington Memorial Bridge Co-op. He says that starts with some needed cosmetic work on the bridge

"Doing a cleaning and waxing of the eight memorial plaques. It's less costly, it will have visual impact on the community, and we are trying to develop that political, public, and private will so that we get a legitimate preservation plan working toward this bridge. It needs restoration in many areas," said Tevebaugh.

Other plans include a tourist walking tour pamphlet connecting the bridge with additional military monuments in Brandywine Park, art and history projects for local schools, and a National Register of Historic Places plaque installed near the bridge.

Delaware National Guard Adjutant General Major General Michael Berry is the project’s honorary chair.

"It's the passing on that education to our young folks within our communities, and then the other part of it is legacy. You know a hundred years ago they had a very similar event take place where they installed the plaques so that a hundred years later the legacy would continue. The legacy of service," said Berry.

Plans also include the process of designing a history panel to be installed in DART bus shelters, tourist oriented social platform sites, and to scan and distribute digital files of the 79-page leather bound scrapbook created by the Community Services Group in 1923.

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.