Senate votes to name I-70 bridge for both Stan Musial, veterans

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | 8:53 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Legislation naming a new span over the Mississippi River at St. Louis the "Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge" cleared Congress on Thursday, and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill predicted President Barack Obama would sign it quickly.

Unanimous passage by the Senate came two days after the House approved the measure on a vote of 395-2.

"It's a good day for St. Louis, Cardinal Nation, and the Musial family — and I'm thrilled the 'Stan Span' will soon be a reality," McCaskill said in a release Thursday night.

The name represents a compromise between Missouri lawmakers who wanted to name the new Interstate 70 for the late St. Louis Cardinals great and Illinois lawmakers who wanted the name to honor military veterans.

It also sums up Musial's life, on and off the baseball field.

Musial, who died in January at age 92, was a three-time MVP and seven-time batting champ spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and help guide them to three World Series titles. He was also a Navy veteran of World War II and a 2011 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which recognizes contributions "to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Musial's children — Dick Musial, Gerry Ashley, Janet Schwarze and Jean Edmonds — praised the choice of the name.

"Our father would be particularly proud to be forever linked to the many men and women who have bravely and selflessly served our nation," they said in a statement Thursday.

The four-lane, cable-stayed bridge is meant to relieve the 50-year-old Poplar Street Bridge, one of just two in the nation that accommodate three freeways.

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