2 min read
Posted on 10.07.13
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 10.07.13

This morning, Mayor Francis Slay helped rededicate the Bernard F. Dickmann Bridge. Here is a copy of his remarks:

It is my honor to join and welcome a group of speakers and guests to append the name of one of the region's most distinguished legislators to the Bernard F. Dickmann Bridge.

It is a very good choice - and one I am certain Mayor Dickmann would applaud. In 1933, Mayor Dickmann became the first Democrat in decades to be elected mayor of St. Louis. He did so with the unprecedented support of the City's African American political establishment, led by Jordan Chambers. For St. Louis, Dickmann's election began a history of political partnerships and alliances that elected and reelected Congressman William L. Clay, Sr., two Congressional Sullivans, Congressman William L. Clay, Jr. -- and me.

The bridge itself is an important one. Until the new bridge opens, it carries 3 interstate highways and a US Route over the Mississippi, making it one of the busiest bridges across the country's most formidable river.

St. Louisans on both sides of the river have a habit of calling things by names other than ones we give them. The Bernard F. Dickmann Bridge is more widely known as the Poplar Street Bridge, the name that early traffic reporters gave it. I'd like this dedication to begin an exception: if you live on the Missouri side of this bridge, I hope you will differentiate yourself from our Illinois neighbors and henceforth refer to this bridge as "the Clay Sr. bridge." The bridge and Congressman deserve the honor.