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Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: Push to Rename Disraeli Freeway After BTO

August 14, 2020 5:59 AM | News

Disraeli Freeway

Disraeli Freeway (GOOGLE STREET VIEW)

Randy Bachman and Fred Turner (MIKE HOUGH / FILE)

WINNIPEG — A local radio station is trying to take care of business by pushing for the renaming of the Disraeli Freeway.

Rena, TJ and Turnbull — the morning team at 92.1 CITI — have launched an online petition to get Winnipeggers behind the idea of the “Bachman-Turner Overpass.” Get it?

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, or BTO as the rock band came to be known, was founded in Winnipeg in the 1970s by Randy Bachman and Fred Turner.

“The Disraeli Freeway is hardly a freeway… plus, Mr. Disraeli has no tie to Winnipeg,” said 92.1 CITI co-host TJ Connors.

“We rehashed an idea that had been brought up previously and thought, 2020 has been a weird year, so why the heck not rename it the Bachman-Turner Overpass to pay homage to a legendary Winnipeg group that sold 30 million albums in the ’70s.

“Their ties to the city run deeper than the traffic on that span of road. Let It Ride and Roll On Down the Bachman-Turner Overpass to Henderson Highway.”

A petition on Change.org has a goal of reaching 1,000 signatures.

Mayor Brian Bowman hadn’t heard about the renaming pitch until reached by ChrisD.ca, but was unavailable to comment on Thursday.

The bridge itself was built in 1958-79 and spans between Main Street in the city’s downtown and Henderson Highway into East Kildonan.

According to the Manitoba Historical Society, the bridge’s name came from Disraeli Street in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg through which the lanes of traffic pass. Before then, the name was linked to Benjamin Disraeli, a British statesman and novelist who twice served as prime minister of the United Kingdom in the 1800s.