Area Politicians Push Musial Bridge Legislation
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Three area U.S. representatives have co-sponsored a bill in the U.S. House to name the new Mississippi River bridge after late St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial.
“Stan Musial was more than just one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He was an ambassador for the game of baseball, a war veteran and a kind, upstanding person,” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) said in a release. “To me, this is a great way to recognize the life and legacy of ‘Stan the Man’ to ensure that he will be remembered by future generations to come and for Cardinals fans to feel a sense of pride and respect each time they cross the river.”
Davis’ bill is co-sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO).
“While the Mississippi River often serves as a dividing line between Missouri and Illinois in our region, the St. Louis Cardinals have been able to bridge that divide and have thousands of Illinois fans,” Shimkus said. “Stan Musial is one of the Cardinals’ icons. I cannot imagine a better solution to the naming of the bridge.”
The bill orders the federal Department of Transportation to rename the new I-70 bridge the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge” when it opens next year.
“Stan Musial was more than just a great baseball player; he emboldened the virtues of an outstanding citizen,” Wagner said in the press release. “As a World War II veteran, he left his professional baseball career to serve his country and never lost his zeal for public service. Throughout his life he always put his community first and he will be truly missed.”
The effort mirrors a similar push in the Senate by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Dick Durbin (D-IL). Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said today that he too is taking steps to name the bridge after Musial. Nixon says he sent Illinois Governor Pat Quinn a letter on Wednesday asking him to support the name.
“This passing gives us the opportunity to honor a great Missourian who, I should note, played minor league ball in Springfield, Illinois, the capital of Illinois, for those over in Illinois who are listening,” he said. Nixon added that he has not spoken to or heard from Quinn yet.