*A bill was introduced to the House that would designate a portion of a freeway in Detroit as the “Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway.”
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, State Rep. Fred Durhal III, D-Detroit, introduced the bill this week that calls on the Michigan Department of Transportation to designate a portion of M-10 — from 8 Mile to I-94 — as a memorial to Franklin.
“The Lodge Freeway was close to her stomping grounds,” he said. “Her father’s church is in my district and so she was a staple in the community. We just wanted to make sure we paid the proper tribute to her.”
Franklin died in August after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
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According to the report, last year, the Detroit City Council designated a portion of Madison, between Brush and Witherell, as Aretha Franklin Way. After the singer’s death, the City Council also voted to rename the Chene Park concert venue the Aretha Louise Franklin Amphitheater.
“Look at her funeral and memorial service and folks came out in droves,” Durhal said. “Franklin was a source of inspiration for thousands, both with her music and her dedication to civil rights activism. She always showed so much love for our city — this is a great way to show how much the people of Detroit loved her back.”
via the Detroit Free Press:
The memorial highway will be added to the list of 105 memorial designations across the state. M-10, which will remain the official designation for the freeway, already has two memorial dedications. It’s known as The Adler Memorial Highway for the section in Oakland County between Telegraph and 8 Mile, in honor of Rabbi Morris Adler of the Temple Shaarey Zedek in Southfield. And the section between I-696 and Orchard Lake Road is designated as the Holocaust Memorial Highway.
M-10 got designation as the John C. Lodge Freeway after it was built in segments during the 1950s and ’60s. It was named for John C. Lodge, who after starting his career as a reporter and editor at the Detroit Free Press, became a Detroit City Council member for 30 years, the mayor of Detroit for six years during the 1920s and a member of the state House of Representatives.
The freeway quickly became known as “The Lodge.”
“For a while, we’ll still be calling it the Lodge,” he said. “We’re all creatures of habit, but I think this is something to make sure she’s memorialized even for future generations.”
The bill — HB 6442 — will be considered when the Legislature returns to Lansing after the Nov. 6 election, the report states.