City council to vote Thursday on renaming Savannah's Talmadge Br - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City council to vote Thursday on renaming Savannah's Talmadge Bridge

The Talmadge Memorial Bridge spans the Savannah River between downtown Savannah and Hutchinson Island. (Source: WTOC) The Talmadge Memorial Bridge spans the Savannah River between downtown Savannah and Hutchinson Island. (Source: WTOC)
Eugene Talmadge (Source: Georgia Encyclopedia) Eugene Talmadge (Source: Georgia Encyclopedia)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

City leaders are expected to vote on the renaming of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge at Thursday’s city council meeting.

City council's actions on renaming the Talmadge is all about inclusivity. Leaders feel that Savannah should be a place that is welcoming to all people.

The bridge is currently named after Eugene Talmadge, who was a three-term governor in Georgia who publicly held racist and segregationist views. Talmadge was a Democratic politician who served two terms as the 67th Governor of Georgia from 1933 to 1937, and a third term from 1941 to 1943. He was elected to a fourth term in November 1946, but died before his inauguration.

Efforts to rename the bridge to something more inclusive have been ongoing for decades. We know that Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach's predecessor tried changing the name of the bridge, but former Mayor Edna Jackson says politics got involved once the issue reached the capitol.

Renaming the bridge came back into the spotlight after the deadly and violent protests erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia last month.

If the vote passes city council on Thursday, a resolution would be sent to Atlanta to Governor Nathan Deal for a final decision.

The proposed name change for the bridge is "The Savannah Bridge."

Other items on Thursday's agenda include the following:

  • Renaming Rio Road to Heroes Way. Rio Road is on Savannah's Southside at the southern gate to Hunter Army Airfield. The name change proposal is to honor veterans and members of the military. 
  • Changes to the short-term vacation rental ordinance. One amendment being considered would limit the number of short-term guests. This is part of an effort to help the Historian and Victorian districts retain long-term residents. It also hopes to reduce noise and free up parking in the area. 
  • Second and final reading of the city's restructuring plan. The plan would change the identification of bureaus and departments. It would also require the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Business Opportunity, Office of Public Communications, and the Office of Organization Performance & Accountability to report to the city manager. 
  • Vote on whether to extend the "Go-Cup Zone" to the Savannah River Landing, a 55-acre development with public parks, squares, hotels, and stores. The go-cup policy allows people to consume alcohol in public spaces.

Thursday's city council meeting will begin at 2 p.m. WTOC will be there to bring you all the latest developments so stay with us for updates.

To view the full September 28, 2017 City Council Regular Meeting Agenda, click here.

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