Augusta city leaders consider renaming Fifth Street bridge

Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:51 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - District 6 Commissioner Ben Hasan made the motion to rename the newly opened Fifth Street bridge to the ‘Freedom Bridge’ and take down the plaque commemorating Confederate States President Jefferson Davis.

After hearing from multiple Augustans and commissioners Tuesday, the renaming was held off to another meeting. Leaders cited “legal issues” when it came to removing the plaques and renaming the bridge.

Moses Todd supports the renaming. He said, “This is a time for reconsideration. This is a time to remove the symbol of suppression and hate, off from the bridge.”

Carl Mixon is against renaming. He said, “I just wish if I could say we could find a way to recognize everybody’s heritage.”

This is some of the back-and-forth people in Augusta had on the renaming and whether to remove the plaque.

Hasan said: “All parties wanted freedom from something, even though they were different but wanted to end up in the same place on what they wanted, and how they saw freedom at the end of the day.”

While a majority of residents who came out to speak supported keeping the plaque of Davis, the renaming was pushed to the next commission meeting to make sure city leaders have the legal ability for the name change.

The Augusta city attorney said: “There are certain actions about this bridge which I do not think prudent to discuss in public in the form of legal advice, that the commission needs to address prior to the commission making a decision.”

The decision will ultimately lie with commissioners on what happens to the name of the bridge.

Commissioner for District 4 Alvin Mason said: “It doesn’t really matter to me whether it’s Garden City bridge, Freedom bridge, or Fifth Street bridge, but it should not be named after an individual.”

And for the first time since News 12′s exclusive interview back in September, Mayor Hardie Davis addressed the city’s recent violence in a motion for Flock cameras using ARP funds.

“What’s happening in our city to date is that people are committing crimes like breaking into cars. They’re not stealing purses, they’re not breaking into homes or stealing safes, they’re stealing guns,” he said.

The motion passed 8 to 2 for $300,00 in ARP funds to go towards Flock cameras and goes into effect immediately for the sheriff’s office.