City's 16th Street bridge now 'Mayor Baker Bridge'

By Mellany Armstrong 2:22pm, July 28, 2014 - Updated 2:38pm, July 28, 2014
VIDEO: WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.
Wilmington's first mayor to serve three consecutive terms gets his name on a piece of city real estate.

WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

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Former Mayor Jim Baker says he's glad he's alive to see the 16th Street bridge over the Brandywine Creek named after him.

"To me, it's just the honor having it done. Somebody in the future will read it and say, 'Hey, OK, I knew something about this guy.' So, that's good," he said.

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Mayor Baker helped unveil a plaque on the bridge bearing his name. Lt. Gov. Matt Denn made light of Mayor Baker's notorious blunt language.

"We might want to have something on the other side of that you can see in the rear-view mirror that says, 'If you didn't enjoy yourself here, you can kiss my butt,'" he said.

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State Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt says he was warned not to get Baker angry when he first met him.

"He walked me over to the window and he said, 'You see that part of Wilmington over there? I got big plans for that, and you need to get on board.' And I was like, 'Sir, yes, sir!'" Bhatt said.

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The mayor threw ceremonial wreaths into the creek below along with State Rep. Stephanie Bolden, who pushed for the honor for Baker.

The bridge is near the Clifford Brown Walk, an area of the city that the mayor worked to rejuvenate.

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