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Controversy Rages Over Road Renaming Near Ft. Bragg

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FORT BRAGG — The renaming of a highway near Fort Bragg is causing quite a controversy. All-American Parkway's name may be changed to honor outgoing Congressman Bill Heffner, but some people say the politician doesn't deserve that honor.

Opponents of the plan say naming the highway after Heffner would be inappropriate because Heffner never served in the military. They feel the parkway should remain as it is, or if it is to be renamed, should be named for a deceased person with a military background.

The All-American Parkway is an extension of the All-American Freeway that runs from Fayetteville to Fort Bragg. The Republican chairman of a congressional subcommittee on military construction initiated the proposal to honor Democrat Heffner's commitment to military issues.

Heffner has served on that subcommittee for 15 years.

Some local veterans, including Paul Callahan, say they admire Heffner's dedication, but that the parkway should not be named in his honor.

"There's an area that should be sacrosanct," said Callahan. "You should not have any politician interject himself into that highway that was named after, and in memory of, the troopers of the 82nd Airborne."

Callahan, who spearheaded the opposition is scheduled to meet with Representative Floyd Spence to discuss the issue. Wednesday, Spence attended a Fayetteville luncheon where military issues were to be discussed. Spence is the chairman of the National Security Committee.

Heffner's office had no comment on the controversy.