Actual Factual Gwinnett: Who was Steve Reynolds, of Boulevard fame?

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Actual Factual Gwinnett: Who was Steve Reynolds, of Boulevard fame?

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Steve Reynolds (far right) attends opening ceremonies of Gwinnett Place Mall in February 1984. FILE PHOTO

This is "Actual Factual Gwinnett," a regular column in which Tyler Estep answers reader questions about Gwinnett happenings and history. Check out the form below to submit your own questions — and enjoy!

Today, we venture back down the road name...road.

Reader Jeff Carroll writes: "Who was Steve Reynolds and why does he have a Boulevard named for him?"

Fabulous question, Jeffrey. And an easy one to answer!

Steve Reynolds was a longtime Georgia state senator and Transportation Board chairman who dedicated his professional career to improving Georgia's roadways. 

Born in Commerce, he moved to Lawrenceville in the early '60s. Beginning in 1964, he served 14 years in the senate, including 12 as the chairman of the Transportation Committee. 

In this 1997 file photo, Former state senator Steve Reynolds stands under his namesake road sign off I-85 in Gwinnett County. AJC

After leaving the senate, he served on the state's transportation b oard for two decades. 

"Nobody foresaw in those years the extent of growth that we have today, but Steve did," former Gov. Roy Barnes told The AJC in 2007.

Steve Reynolds Boulevard — a busy 4.6-mile stretch of road off I-85 near Duluth — was made so in 1991. Reynolds died in September 2007 after a two-year battle with lung cancer.

An AJC article at the time referred to him as "a silver-haired power broker who usually had a pinch of tobacco in his lower lip."

"He could be gruff and tough when it came to fights," the article read, "and became best known as a man preoccupied with road building."

Preoccupied, indeed.

— I, Tyler Estep, am a staff writer with the AJC and a Gwinnett County native. To submit “Actual Factual Gwinnett” questions, contact me at tyler.estep@ajc.com, @ByTylerEstep on Twitter or via the form below. 

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