Bill would rename part of US 8 after Bacco

SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE Chairman Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, listens to former state Rep. Ed McBroom outline his support of Casperson's legislation to designate part of U.S. 8 as the “Medio J. Bacco Memorial Highway.”

LANSING, Mich. — A bill has been introduced in the Michigan legislature to rename a portion of U.S. 8 in Dickinson County after Iron Mountain’s Medio Bacco, founder of Bacco Inc.

The Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday heard testimony on State Sen. Tom Casperson’s proposal, which he said is intended to honor the life of an influential and innovative member of Michigan’s road-building industry.

“Medio Bacco was a pioneer in concrete highway paving and road building in Michigan who literally helped build our state and improve his community,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “This is about honoring a man who lived the American dream and exemplified the hardworking spirit of the U.P. and our entire state. He immigrated to this country as s child, started from nothing and became a successful citizen and entrepreneur. It’s a record to be proud of and celebrate.”

Former Rep. Ed McBroom of Vulcan testified in support of the bill and highlighted Bacco’s leadership in the road-building industry and his commitment to his community.

“This memorial not only serves to honor a major contributor to the U.P. but by choosing this stretch of road, U.S. 8, we help keep alive interesting and important history. This was not only Medio’s first paving project at just 21 years of age, it was the first section of paved highway in the U.P.,” McBroom said.

Bacco went on after that successful project on U.S. 8 to start Bacco Inc., which still is in Iron Mountain, and doing construction projects across Michigan and the Midwest. Bacco was a leader who gave back to his community, helped finance construction of the St. Mary and St. Joseph Church in Iron Mountain, served on the Iron Mountain School Board for eight years and donated $90,000 to the Iron Mountain School District, establishing a scholarship for Michigan Technological University, according to Casperson.

Senate Bill 577 would designate a portion of U.S. 8 from the Michigan-Wisconsin border to the intersection with U.S. 2 in the city of Norway as the “Medio J. Bacco Memorial Highway.”

The bill would have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. Under state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation can place markers indicating the name of a memorial highway only “when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining those markers.”