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IL No Fan of ‘Stan the Span’ Plan

Friday, May 10, 2013

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Stan "the Man" Musial may be a worthy bridge namesake to his adoring fans in Missouri, but Illinoisans aren't feeling the love for the pitch on behalf of the late baseball great.

Its seems that officiials in Illinois and Missouri are at odds over the name of the new Mississipppi River bridge, now under construction.

The $670 million bridge project connecting St. Louis to Illinois was also a topic of debate, when the two states couldn't decide who should fund it. Now that the bridge is finally under construction, they can't decide what to name it.

Nor are they sure who has the right to do so.

Mississippi River bridge New Orleans
Facebook / New Mississippi River Bridge

A new bridge being built over the Mississippi River is causing a bit of a debate between Missouri and Illinois legislators. In MIssouri, officials want to name the bridge after Stan Musial, a St. Louis Cardinals baseball legend; Illinois wants to honor all veterans with a Veterans Memorial Bridge.

In April, the Missouri House voted 147-0 to name it the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge, or "the Stan Span," after St. Louis Cardinals icon Stan "The Man" Musial, who died in January. Part of Interstate 70 by the bridge would be designated as the "Andy Gammon Memorial Highway" in honor of a worker who died last year on the project.

The Missouri vote followed action in the U.S. Senate, which voted unanimously to name the span after Musial, who spent his entire 22-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals.The congressional measure is now being considered by the U.S. House.

Meanwhile, however, the Illinois House voted 109-0 to name the span the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

What's in a Name?

A spokeswoman for Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, told the Mercury News that since the project involves about $240 million of federal aid, Congress and the president hold the naming rights, so whatever the states decide won't matter anyway.

Illinois Rep. Jay Hoffman called Musial "a huge hero of mine" but said he's among lawmakers who promised veterans they would pursue a bridge honoring their service.

Stan Musial

Baseball legend Stan Musial died in January at age 92. If named after him, the bridge would be nicknamed "The Stan Span."

"I understand everyone's request to name the bridge after Stan Musial. He was a great man for the area and a great man for the country," Hoffman told the Mercury News.

"And I think if he was around, he'd say it'd be more appropriate to recognize all veterans."

Musial died in January at the age of 92. A three-time MVP, seven-time batting champ, and Hall of Famer who led the Cardinals to three World Series titles, Musial was also a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and veteran who served in the Navy during World War II.


Tagged categories: Bridges

Comment from Donald L Crusan, (5/11/2013, 12:31 PM)

PA beat MO with a Bridge dedicated to Stan.

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