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State board names highway span for Henry Frye, former N.C. Supreme Court chief justice

State board names highway span for Henry Frye, former N.C. Supreme Court chief justice

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Former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry Frye

In this January photo, retired N.C. Supreme Court chief justices Henry Frye and Rhoda Billings listen as Tom Ross, former UNC system president, presents a redistricting map drawn by a volunteer, bipartisan group of retired North Carolina Supreme Court and appellate court judges at the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad forum “Restoring Democracy in NC: The Case for Nonpartisan Redistricting” at UNC-Greensboro.

GREENSBORO — During his career as a groundbreaking lawyer and judge, former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Henry E. Frye received many honors, awards and accolades.

Thursday, the retired chief justice and longtime Greensboro resident got a bridge, an interstate bridge.

At a special meeting in Greensboro, the state Board of Transportation named after him the span previously known as Green Lake Road Bridge over Interstate 73/74, located in Richmond County where he grew up.

Veteran board member Andrew Perkins, associate vice chancellor at N.C. A&T, read the bridge-naming resolution for the record.

Frye, who was accompanied by a dozen family members including his wife, Shirley, said he appreciated the board’s unanimous action just a few days after his 85th birthday.

“North Carolina is a great state. We have a great future,” he said, adding that Republicans, Democrats and those without a party affiliation need to find ways to work together more effectively. “You all can lead the way.”

Frye was one of the South’s first African American lawyers to serve as an assistant U.S. attorney during the early 1960s, then went on to become the 20th century’s first black, North Carolina legislator when he was elected to the state House of Representatives several years later. In 1983, then Gov. Jim Hunt named him to the state Supreme Court where he served for 17 years.

Contact Taft Wireback at 336-373-7100 and follow @TaftWirebackNR on Twitter.

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