Several events being held on Stan Musial Bridge before Sunday opening


by staff

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 6:39 AM

Updated Saturday, Feb 8 at 9:03 AM

(KMOV) – A series of special events will be held Saturday before the opening of the new Interstate 70 Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The bridge is expected to open to traffic on Sunday.

But a 6-K run – Stan Musial was No. 6 – cycling team trials and other bike rides will be held on Saturday.

The bridge will also be open for public viewing from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge will relieve traffic on the 50-year-old Poplar Street Bridge, one of just two in the nation that accomodate three freeways.

The bridge has been years in the making, and has often been the source of friction between the two states.

Even the naming of the bridge wasn’t easy. Missouri lawmakers and key members of Congress from both states wanted the bridge to bear Musial’s name; the Illinois House voted 109-0 on a resolution in the spring to dub it the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

President Barack Obama signed the compromise legislation naming it in honor of both Musial—an iconic figure in baseball-mad St. Louis who died in January at age 92 -- and veterans.

The federal government has appropriated $239 million for the project. Illinois is paying $313 million and Missouri $115 million. MoDOT said Illinois is paying nearly three times more than Missouri because most of the work to connect the new bridge to existing interstate infrastructure is in Illinois.

You can find a list of all the opening festivities by clicking here.