Bridge to be Renamed After Fallen N.C. Firefighter

State officials will rename a bridge after an Asheville firefighter who died in the line of duty last summer.

The state Board of Transportation voted unanimously Thursday morning to rename the Smoky Park Bridge to the Capt. Jeffrey Bowen Bridge, according to The Asheville Citizen-Times.

The decision reversed a previous vote by the board's Road Naming Committee on March 7 due to a tradition of not naming roads or bridges after fallen firefighters.

After pressure from the public, the board decided to change its stance.

"We have heard a strong outpouring of support for Capt. Bowen from the local community and want to be responsive to their concerns," Board of Transportation Chairman Robert Collier said in a statement.

Bowen went into cardiac arrest and died while battling the blaze in a medical office building last July that injured 10 other firefighters.