ITHACA, N.Y.—The City of Ithaca approved a resolution last week to name the famed “Bridge to Nowhere” over Route 13 after the late Kirby Edmonds, a prestigious Ithaca figure who passed away in August 2020.

Naming the structure the Kirby Edmonds Bridge, according to a resolution approved last week by Ithaca’s Common Council, came about after Ithaca Town Supervisor Rod Howe approached city officials with the idea. The resolution was introduced and read by Acting Mayor Laura Lewis during last week’s meeting.

Edmonds was renowned around the community for his involvement with social justice initiatives in the workplace and elsewhere, having founded TFC Associates with Laura Branca in 1982 and remained entrenched in various community organizing efforts for the next 40 years until his death.

“Whereas Kirby was known as a builder of movements, he also took on other mantles: contributor, connector, leader and encourager of others to plan actions to ensure greater power and resources into people’s hands, as seen locally with his spearheading the creation of Building Bridges — the Collective Impact Initiative to promote a socially just, ecologically sound, sustainable economy in the Tompkins County region,” the resolution states. “Common Council believes that the naming of this bridge would be a fitting recognition of the lifelong work and dedication Kirby offered to the greater Ithaca community.”

It also credits Edmonds for his work with the City of Ithaca’s Comprehensive Plan and his connection work during the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite his ailing health at the time.

The “Bridge to Nowhere” reopened with renewed life earlier this year, particularly as the Black Diamond Trail is primed to be extended with the intention of connecting state parks in Tompkins County to each other.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com