A bridge in Mount Union is closer to being named after a pillar of the community who passed away earlier this year.
Legislation authored by state Rep. Rich Irvin passed the state House that would designate a portion of Route 747 over the Juniata River in Mount Union Borough, otherwise known as the Neu Bridge, as the Captain Joseph S. Giacobello Memorial Bridge.
Mr. Giacobello was known for his military service in the U.S. Army during World War II, but he was also someone who gave back to his community any way he could.
Mr. Giacobello was drafted into the U.S. Army during his third year at Shippensburg University in 1942. He ultimately reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, seeing combat in Italy and France during World War II. Mr. Giacobello went on receive the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and the Combat Infantry Badge while fighting with the 35th Infantry Division in Europe.
He was also the first owner of the Joseph S. Giacobello Beer Distributor in Mount Union and a member of the Blue Juniata VFW Post 5754, Mount Union.
Irvin said he was approached by friends and family of Mr. Giacobello to consider renaming the Neu Bridge soon after his passing.
“I think (Mr. Giacobello) was a pillar in the Mount Union community, and it’s a great honor for me to recognize him,” said Irvin. “I know most of Mount Union and the county know the bridge as the Neu Bridge, but looking through records, it’s never had an official name, so I thought it was a great idea. I started working on this right away, making sure we had family and friends in the loop.”
Though it’s currently budget season in the state legislature, Irvin is pleased it has passed the state House, but he’s not sure when it will be taken up in the state Senate.
“I know I have a couple of bridge namings I’m working on at this time, and this will likely go in an omnibus bill in the state Senate with a bundle that includes a lot of bridge namings,” he said. “It could be passed as early as the end of this month, but I can’t make those promises right now, especially with budget season.