The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission is meeting here Wednesday. That’s significant. Even of more importance is that a new Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River is on the agenda.

The five commissioners are expected to approve the new five-year State Transportation Improvement Plan at their meeting Wednesday morning at city hall. That plan includes a new bridge over the river at Washington.

It is of note that the commissioners wanted to stay in Downtown Washington and were interested in taking in and enjoying some of the city’s historic flavor. This is the second visit of the commission to Washington to hold one of its meetings. The other visit was in 2008. Along with the five commissioners will be staff members of the Missouri Department of Transportation. In all, about 35 people will be in the group.

The city’s hospitality program includes a walking tour of the downtown section, a visit to the Lucy Gallery and a dinner/reception either at the riverfront park or at Jesuit Hall Tuesday afternoon and evening. After breakfast Wednesday morning at Cowan’s, the commission will meet in a closed session at 9 a.m. at city hall. The public session will be at 11 a.m. The group will have lunch at the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame about 12:30 p.m. The commission will hold a second closed meeting Wednesday afternoon at city hall.

The commission is composed of six members. One seat is vacant now. Members are appointed by the governor and are approved by the Missouri Senate. It’s a bipartisan commission. Terms are for six years. The commission appoints the director of MoDOT and its secretary.

The city extended an invitation to the commission to meet here some time ago. It is a privilege for the city to host the state commission. It’s an opportunity for the city to showcase its historic environment and an opportunity to add to Washington’s rich reputation in hospitality.

We say, welcome commissioners, and we hope you enjoy your visit, and have a successful meeting.