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Proposal to name Hwy. 45 Harley-Davidson Heritage Highway

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MILWAUKEE CO. (WITI) -- The name Harley-Davidson is synonymous with the open road. So why isn't the iconic company's name on a Wisconsin Highway? Some Harley riders are asking that question as H-D's 110th Anniversary Celebration approaches.

Highway 45 runs 300 miles from the Illinois state line to Upper Michigan. If you travel that stretch, you'll pass at least two of Harley-Davidson's major facilities.

"So you've got this highway that happens to have numerous branches of Harley-Davidson and no one thought to name it.  I think this is an essential thing that needs to happen," said Jim Crain of the Milwaukee HOG Chapter.

Crain is working with former State Senator Dave Zien and a number of other Harley-Davidson enthusiasts to change that. They're proposing that Highway 45 be renamed the Harley-Davidson Heritage Highway of Honor. They'll announce a formal plan to move it through the state legislature on Friday, August 23rd.

"You have an iconic company right here in Milwaukee, that obviously with the museum, Harley-Davidson and these motorcycles and things like that, it is a very unique opportunity to get them out there," said Crain.

Harley-Davidson has plants off of Pilgrim Rd. and Capitol Dr.

Tony Sanfelipo is the founder of ABATE Wisconsin, a motorcycle rights and safety group. He's also pushing for the highway recognition. Sanfelipo says it would be special to ride a Harley on a Harley highway.

"I think that would be one more brick in the wall of Harley-Davidson pride, so to speak," said Sanfelipo.

In the past, some have expressed concerns about naming a public stretch of road for a private company. But Gov. Scott Walker, a Harley-Davidson rider himself, says he would support it.

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