Stan Musial Bridge opening festivities to include run, cycling this weekend


by Evita Caldwell and Stephanie Baumer / staff

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 4:59 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 5:49 PM

( -- Festivities for the opening of the new Interstate 70 Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge are set to take place Saturday.

The bridge is expected to open to traffic on Sunday.

The activities will include a 6K Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge run, Cycle Time Trail ride, and a Biathalon. Registration for events range from $3 for children to $40 for adults. Participants wanting to register before Saturday can do so by clicking here or register starting at 6 a.m. Saturday in person.

Only those registered to participate in events will be allowed access to the bridge before noon.

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

Free shuttle buses will run from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will be available in downtown St. Louis at the following locations:

    6th Street, north of Washington Avenue
    Washington Avenue & 7th Street at the Metro Store
    9th Street between Washington Ave and Convention Plaza
    9th & Cole Streets
   11th & Cole Streets

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 accommodate 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.