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Threatened Bridge Shutdown Postponed

Brian Kelly
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(KMOX/Brian Kelly)

(KMOX/Brian Kelly)

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Il. (KMOX)-The threat to shut down the new Mississippi River Bridge construction project on Monday morning has been put on hold, but not for long.

Metro East Black Contractors Organization President  Dr. William Mason says that at the request of East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks he is giving the Illinois Department of Transportation at least four or five days to meet the group’s demands.

MEBCO wants IDOT to hire graduates of its construction training program, and hire more black contractors to work on the bridge.

Mason says IDOT has sent a proposal, which a committee of MEBCO members, ministers and others will examine.

Mason says he’s willing to compromise, but he’s not going to wait long, “I’m not going to have a long, drawn out negotiating session for weeks across the table being diplomatic.”

Mason says he talked to IDOT for a year, to no avail.

He says if IDOT doesn’t meet at least most of MEBCO’s demands, “You’re gonna see city trucks, fire trucks, contractor trucks, bulldozers and everything blocking the highway. Now you can go to sleep on that!”

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