JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Under legislation making its way through the Missouri House, the new bridge under construction in downtown St. Louis would be called…deep breath…the “Jerry F. Costello-William ‘Bill’ Clay Sr. Veterans Memorial Bridge”.
House speaker and bill co-sponsor Steven Tilley agrees that’s quite a mouthful, and suggests it could be called The Clay Bridge for short.
The southeast Missouri Republican was asked why he’s getting behind a measure to name the new span — set to open in 2014 — after two Democrats.
“I think it’s reasonable to recognize somebody with that extent of public service,” Tilley tells KMOX News. “We’ve named bridges after our United States Senator Kit Bond, and so I just think it was the reasonable thing to do.”
The Illinois legislature must also approve the name.
But already there’s a grassroots movement afoot to honor female military members past, present, and future by naming it the “Women Veterans Memorial Bridge”.
Senator John Lamping of St. Louis County is open to that idea, saying it could be tacked on as a “special designation” to the official name.
“It is my understanding that there is no other bridge and very few structures nationwide that specifically honor women veterans and thus I think we should seriously consider the possibility of adding a designation of this sort,” he says. “I feel that it would be a great opportunity for St. Louis to show our support for those women who have fought for our country.”
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