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Central Missouri bridge to be named after Blunt

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Efforts to name a major bridge in mid-Missouri after outgoing U.S. Senator Roy Blunt made it to the governor before session concluded.

HB 1738 would name the bridge on Highway 54 crossing the Missouri River between Cole and Callaway counties after the longtime Republican legislator. 

Blunt is retiring this year, after more than a decade of serving as a U.S. senator, leaving his seat open to a highly contested Republican primary race.

The pair of through arch truss bridges opened in the early 1990s and are an important part of travel through Jefferson City. The bridge is the main entrance to the state’s capital city from the north. Two major highways, Highway 54 and Route 63, both span the bridge and into the city. The bridge is an essential part of travel to multiple parts of the state, including Lake of the Ozarks and Rolla. 

The bridge has been known simply as the Jefferson City bridge. The bill stipulated the new signage dictating the name will be funded by private donation if the bill is signed into law. 

The naming is one of many to come out of HB 1738, which also designates names for other stretches of infrastructure as well as dedicating certain months and days to various causes. 

Blunt previously served as Missouri’s secretary state and as a representative of Missouri’s 7th district. He was named The Missouri Times’ Statesman of the Year earlier this year. 

While in the Senate, Blunt was a high ranking Republican and served on numerous committees as a ranking member. 

This is not the first piece of important infrastructure to be named after Blunt. In October 2021, the University of Missouri Columbia’s NextGen Precision Health Institute was named after him as well. 

The section of HB 1738 dedicated to the naming of the bridge is found in HB 2627, which is soon to be signed by the governor as well.