Lions spruce up roundabout in anticipation of bridge dedication

MIFFLINTOWN – In just a few days, the state Route 35 River Bridge will be dedicated and renamed the Juniata County Veterans Memorial Bridge.

In the run up to the dedication ceremony on Memorial Day, the Mifflintown Lions Club has led the charge to spruce up the roundabout on the Mifflintown side of the bridge. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approval for the Lions project was received on March 3. The club submitted a plan to landscape and maintain the roundabout for the next three years.

William Book who is with the Lions Club said the club has started to work on the landscaping focusing on the inner ring, which consists of some ornamental grasses. There will be an additional three rings with holly, roses and finally a series of perennials as the outermost ring.

Book said many businesses helped by contributing services or through monetary donations.

On Memorial Day, there will be several events throughout the day, including a parade from the American Legion to Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Following the parade there will be a memorial service at the cemetery.

Larry Stone with Juniata County Veterans Council Bridge Committee said committee member Gary Zeiders spearheaded the effort to have the bridge dedicated to veterans.

“He initiated the idea and followed through with it,” Stone said.

Commander John Bell said when Zeiders puts his mind into something he goes all the way with it.

The bridge dedication begins at 1 p.m. With retired Air Force Gen. Ronald Fogleman as the keynote speaker. In the event of inclement weather, the bridge dedication will be held at the Tuscarora Junior High School gym.

Fogleman is a native of Juniata County and retired in 1997 after 34 years of active commissioned service.

“We are as proud as a peacock that the general will be here, especially since he is a native,” Stone said.

Many other elected officials have also been invited to speak at the event, including state Sen. Jake Corman, state Rep. Adam Harris and Gov. Tom Corbett.

“Senator Corman and I felt like this was the perfect finishing touch on a great project. We hope everyone in the community will come out and support our local veterans as we proudly name this new bridge in their honor,” Harris said.

Following the bridge dedication, the public is invited to the American Legion at 29 South Main St. for a meet and greet.