A group of legislators is proposing to name the western span of the Bay Bridge after former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.

Assembly Concurrent Resolution 65 recognizes Brown's accomplishments, which include two terms as mayor of San Francisco, by naming the western span the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge.

"He was able to bridge all kinds of people and I think he is very deserving of this," said Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, a co-author on ACR 65.

The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge is due to open later this year. The project has been embroiled in controversy involving faulty materials and questionable testing procedures.

Brown was mayor of San Francisco when Gov. Pete Wilson signed legislation doubling tolls of five Bay Area bridges to pay for seismic upgrading and repairs on the Bay Bridge in 1997. Brown battled with lawmakers over the design and location of the bridge, which led to years of delays. In a column in the San Francisco Chronicle in February, Brown said it was worth the wait.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, and 10 co-authors introduced the resolution Wednesday to name the western span after Brown.

"Willie Brown has been a trailblazer in so many ways," said Chris Holden, D-Pasadena. "(He) has touched so many lives in a positive way."



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