The Walker County Commission on Monday unanimously paid tribute to the late District 4 Commissioner Randy Bridges by naming the Sipsey Bridge after him.Bridges, who was on the commission for 16 years …
The Walker County Commission on Monday unanimously paid tribute to the late District 4 Commissioner Randy Bridges by naming the Sipsey Bridge after him.
Bridges, who was on the commission for 16 years before his retirement in 2012, died after a battle with pancreatic cancer at his residence in Oakman on July 25. He was 61.
He was known to have taken a great interest in the completion of the Sipsey bridge.
"I am proud to say that, with the help of many people, I was able to deliver on my ... campaign promises," he said in a 2004 re-election release. "As most folks are aware (of), we have completed the $2.6 million Sipsey Bridge project." He added he had also kept a promise to "work diligently on improving our roads and work with the commission in a cooperative manner.
His family sat in the audience Monday as the commission paid tribute to Bridges. They were also given a copy of the sign that will note the Randy Bridges Memorial Bridge.
Chairman Jerry Bishop noted he worked with Bridges when Bishop was in private business, assisting the county to rebuild roads where coal was hauled over. He said Bridges wanted the "job done proper and right, but he worked with you."
"This is an honor for us," Bishop said. "This gentleman was one of our commissioners, Randy Bridges. He was a nice person. When I say somebody is a nice, that's a big complement."
Aderholt noted Bridges served first as a county employee, and noted he was injured working on county roads before initially being elected to the seat in 1996.
"He loved his family. He loved his community. He loved what he did," Aderholt said. "He was kind of like family to me, in a sense. We were all from the Pineywoods Community, where we all grew up together and everybody out there knows everybody. Again, he put a lot of work and dedication into serving the people of this county for a long time."
He said the family of the late commissioner asked if one of his projects could be highlighted.
"The bridge down at Sipsey, when you leave Sipsey going back toward Empire and Sumiton, it is still a relatively new bridge in comparison to many in the county." Aderholt said that bridge will outlive him and most in the room.
"He went after funding and guided that project to get that bridge put in place. That is nice to be able to replace a bridge while you are serving as county commissioner because again, that is something that will outlive not only your term, but probably your lifetime," he said.
District 3 Commissioner Ralph Williams said he knew Bridges as he rose up the ranks much like Bridges did. "He always tried to do what was right," he said, noting Bridges' brother-in-law, Jerry Bobo, is Williams' head supervisor in District 3. "He's like family."
District 2 Commissioner Jeff Burrough said Bridges "gave me, I guess, a piece of advice. He said, 'Are you sure you want to run for commissioner?" Other commissioners laughed, saying Bridges asked them the same question. Burrough said Bridges was always good to him, and was a good family man.
District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis said it was an honor to vote on the designation, and said the family is in the prayers of the commissioners.