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Road could be named for late state senator Pete Suazo

SALT LAKE CITY — Redwood Road from 2100 South to 1700 North is one step closer to being named the Pete Suazo Memorial Highway.

The Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday morning unanimously approved SB117, sponsored by Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City. The change won't cost the state additional money because signs calling the road "Pete Suazo Memorial Highway" would go up as the Utah Department of Transportation replaces existing signs.

Suazo served in the Utah House and Utah Senate until his death in an all-terrain vehicle accident in 2001. Suazo represented some of Salt Lake City's west-side neighborhoods. A lover of sports, particularly boxing, Suazo inspired youth, especially Hispanic youth, Robles said.

After graduating from college, Robles said she worked with Suazo on a piece of legislation. She described the experience as life-changing. She had never seriously considered a career in politics, but working with Suazo changed her mind.

"It's an emotional and touching piece of legislation for me," she said.

Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, supported the bill and considered Suazo a close friend who died too soon.

"He had a great sense of humor," Knudson said. "Every day, we would meet in the Senate kitchen, and he would start the day off by setting the tone with great humor."

See the bill at le.utah.gov/~2010/htmdoc/sbillhtm/sb0117.htm.

— Laura Hancock