Staffers at the East-West Gateway Council of Governments used a vote today to demonstrate the stand-off between Missouri and Illinois on the financing of a new bridge across the Mississippi River. Although some local news media reported the outcome as a “victory” for the construction of the so-called King coupler bridge, it would have been more accurate to report the vote as another setback for the residents of the St. Louis region on both sides of the river. The decisions on the bridge’s financing and design will be made - or not made - by the states of Missouri and Illinois. The votes of the members of EWGCG really don’t matter, except to confirm an impasse.
I strongly support construction of a bridge across the Mississippi River; I’m much less enthusiastic about meaningless headcounts. The bridge, if built, will either be a coupler or a signature bridge. The same effort spent on today’s “vote” would be better applied to starting studies on BOTH these options.