Nixon signs bill naming St. Louis span for Musial

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s side of a new bridge over the Mississippi River will be called the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge” under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Jay Nixon. But state officials might not have exclusive naming rights.

Federal legislation approved by Congress and awaiting action by President Barack Obama calls the span the “Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.” That name represents a compromise between Missouri lawmakers who wanted to honor the late St. Louis Cardinals great and Illinois lawmakers who wanted to name the bridge in honor of military veterans.

The new Interstate 70 bridge crosses the Mississippi River and connects Missouri and Illinois. It is four lanes and is intended to relieve the 50-year-old Poplar Street Bridge.

Musial died in January at age 92. He was a three-time MVP and seven-time batting champion who spent his 22-year career with the Cardinals. He also was a Navy veteran of World War II and a 2011 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In addition to a bridge after Musial, the legislation signed by Nixon names part of a highway for construction worker Andy Gammon, who died while building the bridge. And the current Poplar Street Bridge will be called the “Congressman William L. Clay Sr. Bridge” after the former lawmaker who won the first of 16 U.S. House terms in 1968.

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