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Local woman to help Clayton bridge reopening

(Courtesy of Missouri Department of Transportation)
Newspaper clipping from 1959 of Denise Pachiva (Becker) cutting the ribbon on Clayton Avenue bridge.

By Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – The last bridge involved in the two-year I-64 reconstruction project will re-open Thursday. The Clayton Avenue bridge over I-64 has been closed since August.

An interesting twist on the re-opening involves the woman who will cut the ribbon. Denise Becker of Kirkwood also cut the ribbon when the first Clayton Avenue bridge opened in 1959. As a first grader at nearby Dewey School, she was picked out of the crowd for the honor.

"I didn't really appreciate that for many, many years. Because then you'd see openings of different things or some celebrity would have a shovel. And then I really realized that that was something very, very special that I just happened to fall into that day," Becker said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. and the road will be open for traffic by Thursday evening's rush hour.

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