Oke, bridge will always be linked in our memory

Our views on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge have been repeated countless times in this space over the years. And since the bridge was ultimately built and currently stands in defiance of our views — and those of more than 80 percent of the 26th District’s voters — there seems little reason to belabor the point now.

Except for the proposal being considered in the state Legislature this spring to name the span after Port Orchard Sen. Bob Oke, who died last summer just before it was opened.

Given how many friends Oke had among his fellow lawmakers in Olympia, and considering how fond politicians are of honoring themselves, we assume there’s little question the bridge will soon carry Oke’s name.

Which seems appropriate no matter what you thought of the bridge project, or the man who championed it.

If you were among the apparent handful of local residents who supported building it, there’s no question Oke was the primary mover and shaker behind the project and, thus, deserving of being memorialized.

If you were one of the bridge’s critics, no doubt you also think of Oke every time you make the crossing (at $3 a pop).

Either way, it’s Oke’s signature accomplishment and he’s entitled to the lion’s share of the credit — or the blame, depending on your point of view.

Whether or not Oke’s friends in Olympia deem it fitting to name the bridge in his honor, the one thing no one can argue is that he didn’t want to be associated with the project — for better or worse.

And soon he will be. Forever.

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