ALTOONA, Pa (WTAJ)–Representative Louis Schmitt held a ceremony Friday afternoon to dedicate a bridge to the late 79th district representative Richard “Rick” Geist.
The ceremony held at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona had multiple elected officials come to the dedication. The newly dedicated bridge is located at the 17th Street bridge over Interstate 99.
Richard Geist is an Altoona native who served for the 79th Legislative District for 34 years. He’s notable for his work with multiple transportation laws, including the reform of teen driver licensing laws and the DUI law in 2003.
In addition, he was the driving force for House Bill 3, which enabled Pennsylvania to implement public-private partnerships to help rebuild transportation infrastructure. He also helped find the Tour de ‘Toona, which became America’s largest pro-am cycling event.
Geist passed away on August 29, 2019, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, while traveling with his wife, Jeanie. She was touched by the entire ceremony and knew that Rick was smiling down.
Schmitt spoke at the ceremony about his relationship with Geist personally about how much he inspired his political career. He was pleased to do the dedication.
“I was pleased and proud to do this for him and his family, supporters, and people who cared about Rick,” Schmitt said. “He really did care about the people he represented in the 79th district and was very devoted.”