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Poplar Street Bridge Renamed In Honor Of Former Congressman William “Bill” Clay Sr.

Brett Blume
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Former U.S. Congressman WIlliam "Bill" Clay stands near the sign bearing his name that will soon be posted at the entrances to the Poplar Street Bridge. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

Former U.S. Congressman WIlliam “Bill” Clay stands near the sign bearing his name that will soon be posted at the entrances to the Poplar Street Bridge. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Traffic reporters are likely to continue calling it the “PSB” as part of their verbal shorthand during the hectic morning and evening rush hours.

But as of Monday, the Poplar Street Bridge is now officially known as the “Congressman William L. Clay Sr. Bridge”.

“A bridge is a perfect vehicle to bear my father’s name,” said Congressman William “Lacy” Clay, Jr. during a mid-morning ceremony outside the Eagleton Federal courthouse. “We are a better city and a stronger nation because of Congressman Bill Clay, and I’m proud to stand on his shoulders. I’m truly blessed and so proud to be his son.”

Governor Jay Nixon was among those on hand to laud Congressman Clay.

He cited a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience…but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“In times of challenge and controversy Congressman Clay has always stood on the right side of history and in the front lines of a changing nation,” Nixon said.

The “Man of the Hour” himself, Congressmen William “Bill” Clay Sr., was in attendance on a chilly morning.

Clay, now 82, had appreciative audience members laughing and cheering with his straight-talk assessment of the current political climate in Washington D.C.

He said there has been much progress made since his days on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement, but racial equality remains just beyond the nation’s grasp.

“My message to those of you still battling the forces of hatred and ignorance is to ignore that groups of idiots that want to destroy bridges provided by government assistance,” Clay Sr. explained.

As for airborne traffic reporters (heads up Rodger Brand!), Mayor Francis Slay had this request.

“Henceforth, refer to this bridge…please refer to this bridge…as the Congressman William L. Clay Sr. Bridge,” Slay said to cheers and applause. “Because this is someone who really deserves the honor.”

William "Bill" Clay, Sr.

William “Bill” Clay, Sr.

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