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Stan the Man Gets His Span

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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In the bottom of the ninth, Stan Musial and the veterans have tied for naming rights to the Mississippi River's next major bridge project.

Unable or unwilling to choose between St. Louis Cardinals icon Stan "the Man" Musial and the nation's veterans, the U.S. House and Senate have agreed to name the $670 million bridge project after both.

Federal legislation naming the project the "Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge" passed unanimously in the Senate on Thursday (June 27) and in the House on Tuesday (June 25).

Stan Musial
St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals tweeted this photo of Stan Musial, a Navy veteran of World War II. Naming the bridge for Musial and his fellow veterans would be a "fitting tribute," the team said.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill soon. In February 2011, Obama presented Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian in the United States.

Teaming Up

The bridge will carry I-70 over the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois at St.Louis.

Musial, a career-long Cardinal and a legend in St. Louis, MO, died in January. Weeks later, a proposal to name the new bridge in his honor was well underway in the state Legislature. That measure would have named part of the bridge for Musial and part for Andy Gammon, 35, a local construction worker who fell to his death last year on the project.

Andy Gammon

Family and friends of Andy Gammon, a worker who was killed on the project, want part of the bridge named for him.

The plan was derailed in Illinois, however, where the state House voted 109-0 to name the span the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

In the end, the decision fell to Congress, because the project is receiving $240 million in federal funds.


The decision was a hit with Musial's children, who said in a statement Thursday: "We are very grateful that the new Mississippi River Bridge will be named the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. Our father would be particularly proud to be forever linked to the many men and women who have bravely and selflessly served our nation."

The St. Louis Cardinals tweeted this: "Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is a fitting tribute to all veterans including our greatest Cardinal #StanSpan."

Mississippi River Bridge

The federal government's hefty stake in the $670 million project gave Congress the naming rights.

This will be the second bridge named for Musial, who also has a statue outside Busch Stadium in St. Louis. In January 2012, the Donora-Monessen Bridge over the Monongahela in Musial's home state of Pennsylvania was also renamed in his honor.

Meanwhile, Gammon's family and friends are pursuing a Facebook campaign to name a section of the bridge for the married father of two.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Fatalities; Health and safety

Comment from Mike McCloud, (7/2/2013, 7:38 AM)

The Senate? the House? Obama?.....are you kidding me?

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