HONORS FOR O’HERN & AZZOLINA ADVANCE

oherndaniel2Legislation that would name the Red Bank train station for late mayor and state Supreme Court justice Daniel O’Hern, right, will move to the full state Senate after clearing its Transportation Committee Monday.

Ditto for another bill that would put the name of the longtime Middletown legislator Joe Azzolina on the Highlands-Sea Bright replacement bridge now under construction at the mouth of the Shrewsbury River.

Both bills are sponsored by state Senator Jennifer Beck of Red Bank.

The Red Bank commuter stop on the North Jersey Coast Line would be dubbed the Daniel O’Hern Station. O’Hern, a borough native who died in April, 2009, served as acting mayor in 1966, and as mayor from 1969 to 1978. He later spent nearly two decades on the state Supreme Court.

The station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is slated for $2 million worth of renovation work over the next two-to-four years, was a favorite of O’Hern. Beck said O’Hern “climbed a ladder himself” to help repaint the structure when he was mayor.

The street of his childhood, Locust Avenue, was “ceremonially” renamed in his honor last September.

The partially completed Route 36 bridge would be called the Captain Joseph Azzolina Memorial Bridge, citing his rank as a Navy reserve officer following service in World War II and the Korean War. He died in April of this year.

The Azzolina bill was sponsored by Beck and senators Joe Kyrillos and Sean Kean.

“The Captain was a very important part of my life,” Beck said in a prepared statement, “and it means a lot that his name will forever be associated with the Bayshore, and area he prized so much. He was a man who truly loved New Jersey, and always kept the interests of New Jersey citizens at the heart of everything he did. The Captain was born to serve, and I know he would be honored with this tribute.”