Locals work to name bridge in Florence after Boy Scout who died there in 1972

In 1972, a Pinal County boy named Rusty Greer was killed during a Boy Scout biking trip. 

His bicycle was hit while he was riding over a bridge in Florence.

Now, his family and one of his fellow scouts are hoping to get that bridge named in Rusty's honor.

Rusty's brother Doug Greer kick-started the effort to get the bridge named by reaching out to Pinal County District Supervisor Mike Goodman, who was a friend of Rusty's and was on that tragic outing five decades ago. 

Goodman said he was happy to help honor his old friend and the Greer family through this application. 

Greer has appreciated the community backing that has been there since the day his brother died. 

"That outpouring of support back then and now as we fast-forward to 2024, and what is happening locally with the town of Florence, we just need everybody to hopefully get behind this. And the county, what they’ve been able to do and just continue to move forward with not getting behind on this and hopefully seeing it to the end," Greer said.

To get the bridge named, it will include a public comment period and more discussions. 

What else needs to be done to complete the process?

"The first step is to submit a name proposal application, which can be found on the Board’s website. When a name proposal is received, the Board’s Research Support staff will review the proposal to ensure it meets the standards of the principles, policies, and procedures of the United States Board on Geographic Names," Ryan Ehrfurth of Arizona State Board and Historic Names said.

Ehrfurth says the timeline for proposals can vary, but it takes at least three months from the time a name proposal is received.

All groups affected by the proposal or who might have an interest in the name are required to have proper notice.

"The Board follows strict consultation periods to ensure that stakeholders have sufficient time to review proposals that may affect their community. Since the naming process is collaborative and involves coordination with local, municipal, county, federal, and tribal governments, consultation periods vary depending on where the geographic or historical feature is located and who has jurisdiction," he said.

He noted that proposals involving federal land go through a 120 calendar day Tribal consultation period and that it could take longer to receive responses from all stakeholders.

Eventually, if the name is chosen, the Arizona Department of Transportation is responsible for installing signage.