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A fitting way to remember Tom Cosgrove

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Tom Cosgrove, one of Lincoln’s biggest advocates, is missed every day by community members and those he worked with in local and regional agencies.

The Lincoln City Councilman of 18 years unexpectedly died in February after suffering a stroke.

Cosgrove was so full of energy and so vibrant.

Public condolences were immediate, abundant and heartfelt from Lincoln residents to present and former city and regional leaders.

Every day, someone is reminiscing about Cosgrove’s continuous work promoting Lincoln in the most positive light, making city services more efficient and highlighting local businesses.

Even before becoming the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce executive director in January 2016, Cosgrove highlighted downtown Lincoln as the place to be.

During his council years, Cosgrove would walk daily from his house near First Street to City Hall and check in with downtown businesses along the way to see how he could help.

While Cosgrove worked hard for economic development, housing, regional governance and infrastructure improvements during his council years, the majority of residents also credited him for being the Highway 65 Bypass champion.

The bypass opened in October 2012 after decades of planning, red tape and intense negotiations with a multiple of governmental agencies from local through federal levels.

In fact, Placer County Transportation Planning Agency executive director Celia McAdam earlier this year called Cosgrove “the political champion of the $325-million highway project.

Cosgrove wanted to attend any meeting related to the planned bypass, from regulatory meetings with environmental experts to financial meetings, according to McAdam.

That’s hundreds of meetings that Cosgrove attended to make the bypass a reality.

Last Friday, almost eight months after Cosgrove’s death, three agencies fittingly held a dedication ceremony to rename the Lincoln Bypass as the Thomas J. Cosgrove Memorial Highway. Those agencies are the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the city of Lincoln.

Cosgrove loved the bypass, which was built to improve mobility and stimulate economic development.  The Highway 65 bypass consists of four lanes from Industrial Boulevard to Nelson Lane and two lanes from Nelson Lane to Riosa Road in Sheridan. 

When this newspaper’s editor wrote a column about regularly walking on the unopened bypass, Caltrans representatives asked for another column saying not to play on the under-construction bypass. Cosgrove, though, appreciated the editor’s first column because he understood that the bypass had scenic views of Lincoln.

Kudos to the three agencies for honoring Cosgrove. We miss his energy, enthusiasm and love for anything Lincoln. Now, Cosgrove will always be officially remembered for his advocacy toward the city he happily called home for 30 years.