The Daily Times: Alexander introduces Senate legislation to name Foothills Parkway bridge after Stone

Posted on January 17, 2019

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced legislation Wednesday to name a bridge on the Foothills Parkway after a former Daily Times editor, the late Dean Stone, saying, “there is no one more fitting.”

“It is hard to imagine Blount County without Dean Stone, and that’s why I introduced legislation to name a bridge on the Foothills Parkway as the Dean Stone Bridge,” Alexander, a Maryville native, said in a press release.

Stone, who died in 2016, worked at The Daily Times for more than 60 years and spent much of that time as editor.

“No one worked harder for the Foothills Parkway than Dean Stone, and I can’t think of anyone more fitting to name this bridge on the Foothills Parkway after than Dean. He talked to me about the Foothills Parkway when I was at Maryville High School as the school newspaper’s editor, and he talked to me in every job I’ve ever had since, literally,” Alexander said.

“When I was working for Senator (Howard) Baker, he would ask, ‘Could we get a little money for the parkway?’ ‘Oh I don’t know,’ I’d say, and he would keep asking. So it’s more than appropriate to name this bridge on the Parkway after Dean, and it ensures he will be a part of the Smokies for generations to come,” the release stated.

“Dean Stone was a pillar of his community,” Blackburn said. “Naming the bridge in honor of him is the perfect way to thank him for his dedication to improving the lives of all who enjoy the Smokies.”

Recently retired U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan introduced legislation in the House in June 2017 to name “Bridge 2” of the Foothills Parkway in Great Smoky Mountains National Park after Stone. The House passed the measure in March 2018.

Alexander and Duncan worked with their colleagues in Congress to help provide the funding necessary to complete the “Missing Link” — a 1.65-mile segment of the new 16-mile section, which is composed of nine bridges. The Dean Stone Bridge would be one of those nine bridges.