Roadway Reminder

Published 9:42 am Monday, November 9, 2009

SOUTH POINT — Signs posted along the highway are placed for a variety of reasons. Many give directions or let motorists know places of interest, speed limits and even who is responsible for keeping the highway clean and neat.

Some are even placed just to keep a driver’s mind occupied on the roadway.

But a select few are placed in dedication of a person or group that have gone above or beyond their public or private call of duty. Those who earn that rare honor are indeed special.

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South Point Mayor William Gaskin is one of those people and joined that exclusive fraternity Sunday.

On a seasonably warm autumn afternoon with the sun hovering on the horizon, Gaskin, joined by approximately 60 of his closest family and friends, watched as his name was permanently placed on display for every motorist passing through South Point to see.

The U.S. 52 bridge overpass at Solida Road was renamed in his honor.

With the Ohio State Highway Patrol closing both exit ramps to traffic, dignitaries from throughout the county and state converged on the overpass to unveil the 12-foot high, green sign that renamed the bridge the “William A. Gaskin Bridge.” The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation sponsored the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Gaskin, who has served as mayor of South Point since 1979, was awarded the honor when it was first announced at the chamber’s annual awards dinner on Oct. 15 by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The ceremony had speeches and proclamations from Rep. Clyde Evans (R-Rio Grande), Lawrence County Commissioner Jason Stevens and Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Director Bob Smith.

A reception immediately followed the dedication at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce office.

Critical in the commercial development of South Point in his 30 years as mayor, Gaskin is responsible for improving the municipal park, creating a boat ramp park, resurfacing the village streets, expanding water and sewer services, and instrumental in developing the U.S. 52 overpass that now bears his name.

He has served on the Ohio Public Works Committee, Ohio Mayor’s Association, Ohio Municipal League, Lawrence Economic Development Corporation, and the Huntington/Ironton Empowerment Zone Committee to establish the Point Industrial Park.