National News

Colo. Lawmaker Proposes Renaming Part Of Interstate The 'Barack Obama Highway'

Posted April 20, 2018 12:21 p.m. EDT

— It's possible you could soon hear about a traffic backup or accident on the "Barack Obama Highway" in Denver.

A bill that names the stretch of Interstate 25 through Denver after the 44th president passed a House Committee with no one speaking in opposition and only one Republican voting against it. House Joint Resolution 18-1016 was proposed by Rep. Dan Pabon.

Pabon, a Democrat representing Denver, says that part of Denver is where it all began for Pres. Obama.

In 2008, he received the democratic nomination at the Pepsi Center and gave his acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium.

"Essentially this recognizes the contributions that President Barack Obama has made to our city, our state and our country," says Pabon.

Naming highways in Colorado after former presidents is not unusual.

There's the Ronald Reagan Highway in El Paso County, the John F. Kennedy Highway in Pueblo County, Gerald R. Ford in Eagle County and, of course, the Eisenhower and Johnson Tunnels.

Former Rep. Rosemary Marshall testified in favor of the resolution, "Barack Obama has a special time in history as the first African American president… and this would be a wonderful tribute to his legacy."

But Rep. Dominique Jackson, a Democrat representing Aurora, says why stop at I-25, "He must have traveled down I-70 at some point. Perhaps all of I-70 leading up to 225 in Aurora could also be renamed."

The committee left that suggestion up for a full floor debate but passed the resolution 12-1.

It is one of three resolutions this year to rename highways. There's one to name a stretch of Highway 85 after late pastor and civil rights leader James McMearn, and Highway 84 after CDOT worker Nolan Olson, who was killed on the job.

Colorado also has several highways named after soldiers who died in combat. All of the highway signs are payed for with donations.