The family of the late Hoover resident and veteran Mike Gilotti gathered at the Hoover City Council’s Aug. 19 meeting for the unveiling of two new signs created in his honor for the Alabama Highway 150 bridge.
Gilotti was shot to death outside of his Lake Cyrus home on Jan. 5, 2016. Four teens were suspected of the murder, but only two were tried and subsequently acquitted of Gilotti’s murder.
The bridge is along the route Gilotti used to drive daily to work or the gym.
Hoover City Councilman Casey Middlebrooks spearheaded efforts to have the bridge between Ross Bridge parkway and Lake Cyrus Boulevard named for Gilotti.
“I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Mike was doing all of the right things,” he said. “He served his country – two tours in Iraq – came back here and was a valued member of the community. Raising a young family – everything you wish for. He wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
Middlebrooks noted that having the bridge named via a proclamation was a team effort, with help from the entire City Council, city staff, Mayor Frank Brocato and local legislators. He then recognized Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook; Rep. David Wheeler, R-Vestavia Hills; Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills; and Sen. Dan Roberts, R-Mountain Brook.
In November 2018, the Hoover City Council sent a resolution to the Alabama state Legislature asking that the bridge be named after Gilotti. The resolution was passed and signed by the governor in May.
According to Gilotti’s widow, Heather, Hoover was the first place the family of four called home. After her husband’s death and two trials, she began to associate the city with bad memories, until Middlebrooks presented his proposal to name the bridge after her late husband.
“I could finally see a glimpse of hope and healing amidst all of the pain,” she said. “This was not just a plaque or a folded flag or a gravestone. This was an actual bridge that he was proposing. A bridge, to me, that signifies progress, a way to overcome obstacles and really a journey from life to death. It was so fitting for the amazing man that I loved and so perfect.”