New Mon-Fayette bridge to honor soldier killed in Vietnam

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The new Mon-Fayette Expressway bridge over the Monongahela River linking Washington and Fayette counties will be dedicated Friday to honor a local man killed in the Vietnam War.


Elected officials will participate in an invitation-only dedication on the bridge at 2 p.m. with relatives of Ronald Charles “Smokey” Bakewell to officially name the bridge after the U.S. Army private who was killed by gunfire Aug. 2, 1968, in Quangtri Province, South Vietnam, according to state Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg.


The public is invited to a reception to follow at 3 p.m. in Bakewell-Phelps American Legion, 800 Middle St., West Brownsville, as part of the dedication of the $96 million, poured-in-place concrete bridge that opened to traffic in July between Centerville and Brownsville.


Bakewell was from East Millsboro and graduated in 1966 from Redstone High School, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website indicates. He was killed at age 20 on the 42nd day of his tour in Vietnam.


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