A state legislator has proposed naming the section of I-55 that runs through Arnold in honor of President Donald J. Trump.
State Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R-Arnold) said she will file a bill in the upcoming session of the General Assembly to do just that.
“Missouri has a tradition of naming its highways and roadways for notable people. There’s a section of highway named for President Barack Obama in the city of St. Louis. Jefferson County loves President Trump, and they like what he’s done during his time in office,” Coleman said.
She said that’s based on the November election returns, when 65.88 percent of voters in Jefferson County cast ballots for the Republican incumbent.
Coleman said the section of I-55 through Arnold was chosen because it is the main stretch through her district that has not been dedicated.
“There’s the Rosa Parks Highway (of I-55 in south St. Louis County), and to the south, sections are named for fallen officers. I’d never want to erase those,” she said. “There’s a protocol in the General Assembly where representatives don’t look to dedicate places in other districts.”
Coleman said rather than allowing a passage of time before naming a stretch of the interstate after Trump, which is the practice for those inducted into sports halls of fame, now is the perfect time to act.
“Why now? I’d ask why not now?” she said. “In Jefferson County, he has wide support. This seems like a nice thing to do.”
Coleman said she understands the argument that dedicating a section of an interstate may not be on many people’s list of legislative priorities.
“There are a lot of really important issues people want us to work on, and we’re doing that. There will be a thousand or more bills filed this session,” she said. “But one of the functions of a state legislator is to do these types of things, and it’s not taking away from important policy decisions.”
Coleman encouraged those who want to support the issue to click on a link on her Facebook campaign page at VoteMaryElizabethColeman.
“We have our 45th President to thank for growing Missouri’s economy, strengthening our infrastructure, and protecting our values from power-drunk politicians with big government policy,” she says on the page with the link.
Coleman said she has not been monitoring comments on the Facebook post, nor does she know how many people have clicked on the link to show support.
“I have been told there’s a huge response, but I don’t have any data on how many people have responded to the link,” she said.
“The one thing I can tell you is that friends of my children have come up to me at church, in the supermarket, to tell me they like the idea. If even the kids know, it must be being talked about quite a bit.”
Coleman said she is optimistic the bill would be passed into law.
“I don’t solicit co-sponsors to my bills, but I would guess it would get support from the other county legislators and around the state,” she said.