On Thursday, May 6, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill to rename a portion of Alabama Highway 8, or U.S. Highway 80, to John R. Lewis Memorial 10 Highway.
The bill was passed as HRJ 80 and was sponsored by Rep. Prince Chestnut. The portion of the highway runs from Selma to Montgomery, which is the site of marches led by Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.
Civil Rights icon John Lewis passed away in June 2020 at the age of 80.
The John Lewis Bridge Project released a statement following the highway's renaming by the Legislature:
“Congratulations and thank you to Representative Chestnut, the Alabama Legislature and the thousands of Americans who joined the John Lewis Bridge Project for their work, dedication and activism.
“When we started the John Lewis Bridge Project, just under a year ago, the response was incredible and humbling. From every corner of the nation thousands of individuals, from all walks of life, joined the effort to honor the great John Lewis. Today, the Alabama Legislature, led by Representative Chestnut, took one step closer to ensuring the legacy of John Lewis will live on for generations. We look forward to the next step and encourage Governor Ivey to sign this bill into law as soon as possible.”
The John Lewis Bridge Project was founded as an effort to change the name of Edmund Pettus Bridge to the civil rights activist.
A copy of HJR 100 can be seen here.