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PennDOT to honor employees who died in the line of duty

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PennDOT is looking to honor some of its own.

Last week, the department announced a bridge-dedication project honoring employees who died while on duty since 1970.

There is one Warren County name on the list — Norman B. Matthews, who died Jan. 13, 1972.

PennDOT is not certain if there are family members who still live in the county. If there are, the department would like to hear from them. They may contact District Press Officer Jill Harry directly at jharry@pa.gov.

“Our employees put their lives at risk every day to improve and maintain Pennsylvania’s infrastructure,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Through this initiative, we hope to permanently honor those employees who we’ve lost in the line of duty.”

“PennDOT’s intent, with the involvement and approval of the family, is to name a bridge after each fallen PennDOT worker as an acknowledgment of their service to Pennsylvania,” according to a PennDOT release. “Each bridge will be marked with a sign that includes the fallen worker’s name, a visual reminder to motorists to slow down in work zones.”

“The statewide initiative was inspired by a similar effort completed in honor of PennDOT District 3 employee Harold ‘Don’ Whipple, who was killed in the line of duty in 2016,” according to the release. “A bridge in Northumberland County was memorialized in Whipple’s name earlier this year.”

“PennDOT continues to honor our fallen colleagues through our Traveling Worker’s Memorial, but the bridge renaming effort will give communities a lasting monument to remember those lost and emphasize the fact that the safety of workers in a work zone depends on all of us,” Richards said.

A list of the names of fallen PennDOT employees statewide and additional information on the Traveling Worker’s Memorial can be found on PennDOT’s website.

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