A new Woodbury road will bear a familiar name.
Former Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens was surprised Thursday with the unveiling of a street sign that read "Stephens Way." It's the name of a recently constructed loop road connecting Bielenberg Drive and Tamarack Road and is part of a larger commercial development project.
Stephens Way is partially open to traffic from eastbound Tamarack Road with full access to and from Bielenberg Drive. It is expected to open completely in fall 2020.
Stephens, who served as mayor from 2010-2018, had been invited to the Mayor's Business Update, an annual event held at the Eagle Valley Golf Course. During her presentation, Woodbury's current mayor, Anne Burt, revealed the name of the road and invited Stephens to say a few words.
Holding the large green sign in front of her, Stephens addressed city staff and other local leaders gathered in the room.
"The hardest part of not being mayor is I miss all of you tremendously," Stephens said.
She then addressed friend and city administrator Clint Gridley, who invited her to the luncheon.
"You did pull one over on me," Stephens said, laughing.
Burt said the city considered calling the street "Mayor Mary Way'"but decided it would be too difficult to say. Stephens was often referred to as "Mayor Mary" during her tenure.
After serving on Woodbury City Council from 2006-2010, Stephens was elected mayor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, running unopposed. She was the city's fifth mayor and the first woman to serve in that capacity.
During her time in office, Stephens worked to establish growth in the city following a recession and built a legacy of business outreach. Under her watch came a major redevelopment of the former State Farm Insurance campus, now CityPlace, along with a major overhaul of what is now HealthEast Sports Center. Stephens also ran for governor as a Republican in 2018 but left the race after seven months.