Effort to name a bridge that is going nowhere | New

ST. THOMAS – A renegade road sign in Nadir seeks to immortalize street historian Wayne “Facts Man” Adams.

The Turpentine Run Bridge, colloquially known as “The Bridge to Nowhere”, remained incomplete for years until 2018, when former Governor Kenneth Mapp finally declared it the “Bridge to Somewhere”. Construction of the bridge took more than 20 years and cost nearly $ 28 million.

Now, a mysterious self-defense team made up of what can be assumed to be “Facts Man” mourners have christened the bridge with their own name, “The Wayne Adams AKA Facts Man Memorial Bridge”.

“Yes, this sign is not official,” Public Works Chief of Staff Kinila Callendar said recently. According to Callendar, the person responsible for the sign did not get approval. “There is a process for this stuff. “

The sign displays two doves with black and white letters stating “Welcome to Wayne Adams AKA Facts Man Memorial Bridge.” Keep going, keep going! “

Nearby, a second sign honors Jam Band’s Nicholas Friday, proclaiming “The Nicholas ‘Nick’ Friday Memorial Drive”. This sign, however, took a more traditional route, starting with a bill introduced to the Virgin Islands legislature after the musician’s death in 2005. Immediately after I opened in 2007, the sign was unveiled along with the St. Thomas-Water Island administrator and governor on site.

Slowly, all of the territory’s public roads are named as part of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office street addressing initiative. As part of the process, unofficial names are formally adopted and in other cases where there is no clear name or there are duplicate names, the office works with neighborhood groups and community associations. owners to designate new names.

So there is still hope for Adams supporters, but to gain traction they would likely need the help of a senator. Adams was a DIY historian whose fame and uncanny ability to remember “facts” earned him the nickname “Facts Man”.

While he was best known for his regular radio calls, he also produced signs, brochures and CDs that he would sell outside of the Tutu Park Mall with the aim of sharing his facts, ideas and his opinions on the history of the Virgin Islands and the African diaspora. .

Facts The man died of complications from COVID-19 in September. It’s not clear if Public Works will remove the signage, and while Facts Man is gone, it appears his local activist style is still alive.

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Nell Love

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