A stretch of Highway 41 was dedicated Friday to the late Joe Levy, the Gottschalks retail store CEO who championed the building of major highways in the central San Joaquin Valley.
The portion of the highway from Bullard to Herndon avenueswas renamed Joe Levy Memorial Highway under a resolution authored by state Sen. Tom Berryhill. The one-mile stretch was formerly called the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Freeway. Parts of Highway 41 north and south of the Levy Memorial will remain named for the former president.
Levy, who died in February 2014 at 82, was a former chairman of the California Transportation Commission. He was a key figure in the creation of highways 41, 168 and 180.
Friday’s dedication ceremony was hosted by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Berryhill’s office, the California Department of Transportation and Alert-O-Lite, in collaboration with the Levy family.
In 1989, Levy won the Leon S. Peters Award, the chamber’s top honor for service to the community. A former president of the chamber, Levy was active in the Downtown Association, the Boys Club, Fresno Arts Museum, Fresno Metropolitan Museum and the business school at Fresno State.
He was best known for Gottschalks. Levy’s great-uncle was company founder Emil Gottschalk.