Oklahoma Renames 20-Mile Section of State Highway After Trump

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
June 1, 2021 Updated: June 1, 2021

A highway in Oklahoma will be named after former President Donald Trump after the state’s Republican governor signed a bill renaming a 20-mile section of U.S. Route 287 after the 45th president of the United States.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday signed Senate Bill 624 (pdf), a measure that honors dozens of individuals—from members of law enforcement and the military to local and state politicians—by naming highways and bridges after them.

“Highways, bridges, and other facilities which are part of the state highway system may be considered for dedication in honor of individuals deserving of commendation for their active involvement in the project or for outstanding service to the nation, this state, or their community,” the text of the bill reads.

The final version of the legislation has had language removed that limited such designations to individuals that have been deceased for at least three years, paving the way for the stretch of highway to be named after Trump.

The omnibus bridge and highway naming bill includes such designations as the “Representative Howard Paul Cotner Memorial Highway,” the “U.S. Senator James Inhofe Interchange,” and the “President Donald J. Trump Highway.”

The stretch of road that will bear Trump’s name starts at the municipal limits of Boise City, Oklahoma, and runs southeast to the Oklahoma-Texas border in Cimarron County.

“The Department of Transportation shall cause suitable permanent markers bearing that name to be placed on the highway,” the bill reads, referring to Trump, noting also that state Senate and House lawmakers who authored the legislation will pay for the related signage.

According to The Oklahoman, state Rep. Regina Goodwin, a Democrat, sought to amend the bill to remove the section designating the “President Donald J. Trump Highway,” but failed.

Two years ago, two Republican state senators in Oklahoma tried to name a section of the iconic Route 66 after Trump, but that proposal faced bipartisan pushback and was dropped.

Oklahoma’s move to rename infrastructure in honor of the 45th president follows an effort by Republicans in the Ohio legislature to rename a state park after Trump.

A GOP-backed bill introduced in April in the Ohio state House would change the name of Mosquito Lake State Park to Donald J. Trump State Park.

The Ohio bill was led by freshman state Rep. Mike Loychik, who said in a statement that, “This legislation is meant to honor the commitment and dedication that our 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, bestowed upon the great people of Trumbull County.”

“This enthusiasm for our former president was also historic throughout the state of Ohio last November as he pushed for initiatives and policies that [were] very well-received with my constituency and the state,” Loychik added.

In the 2020 election, Trump won Ohio with more votes than any candidate in state history.

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'