Highways, bridges renamed to honor local heroes

BROOKFIELD — A stretch of state Route 7 between state Routes 82 and 305 in Trumbull County will be renamed the “James A. Fredericka Memorial Highway.”

The renaming was included in House Bill 276, which is awaiting the expected signature of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. One of the bill’s co-sponsors is state Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta.

Fredericka, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper stationed in Warren, was responding to a traffic crash on Route 7 in Trumbull County on April 30, 1953, when he was involved in a traffic crash and later died.

“I am glad to have been able to honor the life and memory of former Ohio State Trooper Fredericka,” O’Brien said in a news release. “Patrolman Fredericka was a native son of Trumbull County who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of his fellow Ohioans.”

HB 276 also renames some highways and bridges in Mahoning County in honor of public servants, law enforcement officials and fallen soldiers:

• The bridge spanning Interstate 76 on state Route 46 in Canfield Township will be renamed the “Lewis John Speece Jr. Memorial Bridge” in honor of Speece, who died Feb. 6, 2015, at the age of 89. He was a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and was founder and president of the War Vets Museum in Canfield. He was commander of the American Legion Post 177 in Canfield from 1980 to 2013, and belonged to the post for 60 years, according to his obituary.

• The eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. Route 422 between state Route 616 and the Pennsylvania border in Coitsville Township will be renamed the “PFC Ronald J. Puskarcik Memorial Highway” in honor of the U.S. Marine rifleman who died July 18, 1968, after being injured June 28, 1968, while fighting in the Vietnam War. He was 18, according to the Vietnam Virtual Wall website, which also states Puskarcik, a Campbell native, was a member of the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Amphibious Force.

• The bridge spanning state Route 11 on U.S. Route 224 in Canfield Township will be renamed the “Canfield Armed Forces Bridge.”

• The bridge spanning Interstate 76 on Herbert Road in Canfield Township will be renamed the “Canfield First Responders Bridge.”

Signs designating the honorary highway name changes are expected to be erected by ODOT in the coming months.