This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – A bill to name the new Interstate 70 bridge across the Mississippi River the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge” has been approved by the U.S. Senate but has not yet made it out of a committee on the House side of the Capitol.
The Senate passed the bill, backed by all four senators from Missouri and Illinois, by unanimous consent late on Monday. The lawmakers praised the vote in a joint statement on Tuesday.
A similar House bill backed by U.S. Reps. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, has not yet been approved by the Transportation committee.
A spokesman for Davis said Tuesday that the freshman congressman – now the region’s only lawmaker on the transportation panel – planned to redouble his efforts to get approval for the bill to name the new span after Stan the Man, who died in January at age 92.
“There’s nobody I’d rather see welcoming folks into St. Louis than our hometown hero, Stan Musial,” said U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., after the Senate vote.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo, praised the St. Louis Cardinal All-Star as “a true hero to so many Americans, both on and off the field.” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said naming the bridge after Musial “would be a fitting honor to a great American hero and the values he stood for.”
And U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., said Musial “gave his all to the St. Louis and Metro East region and this is just one small way we can honor that legacy.”