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Mayors Join New Mississippi River Bridge Shutdown Threat

Brian Kelly
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Parks-Alvin
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Il (KMOX)-Some metro east Mayors, township supervisors and other community leaders are backing the threatened shutdown of the Mississippi River Bridge construction project, if more african americans aren’t hired to work on it.

 East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks is among the leaders joining the Metro East Black Contractors Organization’s effort to get I-DOT and the unions to hire more black contractors and laborers, “If we do not get the progress that  we would like to see, we will promote and certainly encourage a shutdown of the bridge.”

Parks says they are calling on Governor Quinn and top I-DOT officials to meet with them next week to address the situation, “There’s no question we all support a bridge being built, but we support it being built the right way by the right people.”

Parks says the lack of blacks on the project makes no sense, especially since I-DOT helped train some of those now looking for work, “I-DOT actually funded training for individuals, over 170 people, to actually be better prepared to be in the construction field. There are no more than 7 people who are actually working as a part of the training that took place.”

Parks says if state officials don’t agree to hire “significantly more African-Americans, MEBCO and the city leaders will announce a shutdown date next week.

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