The Key West City Commission and Mayor Teri Johnston unanimously passed a resolution asking the Florida Department of Transportation to rename the bridge at the entrance to the island in honor of the late Cheryl H. Cates.
If approved by FDOT, the Cow Key Channel Bridge would become the Cheryl H. Cates Memorial Bridge. Cates was the long-time wife of Key West Mayor Emeritus and current County Commissioner Craig Cates.
Local businessmen Jim Gilleran and Peter Batty formed a committee to petition for the change.
"Among numerous philanthropic activities, Cheryl served on the board for Wesley House, Samuels House, and Kids Come First," they wrote in a letter requesting the change. "On September 11, 1971, she married the love of her life, Craig Cates. An inseparable team, the Cates has made countless positive impacts upon their community."
Cheryl Cates died on December 2, 2020.
"It's a great honor for Cheryl and the family," Craig Cates said at the City Commission meeting. "She always used to say that she'd connect the dots between people who needed help and those who could help."
"The City Commission finds it would be fitting to name the Cow Key Bridge in honor of Cheryl H. Cates," reads the resolution, "to recognize the many contributions that she, and the Cates family, have made toward improving Key West and Monroe County."
"This particular bridge and its geographical location that spans both Key West and Monroe County is a fitting tribute," Batty and Gilleran wrote in the petition, "to not only Cheryl's abundant love and contributions to our community but also in a small way recognizes the entire Cates family and their selfless dedication to improving our diverse community."
The Monroe County Commission also unanimously approved a similar resolution, now being passed on to FDOT.
In the photo: Members of the Cates family and friends joined the City Commission at the podium during the recent City Commission meeting.