At this point, the name of the new bridge will be the Highway 47 Bridge Over the Missouri River. It will not include the name of Washington since only about half of the bridge on the south side is in the city limits. The other half is in unincorporated Warren County.

The new bridge will open in December 2018. It is on schedule, according to Judy Wagner, area engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). She also told the Washington Area Highway and Transportation Committee Monday that the new bridge’s design is unique — MoDOT is not aware of any other bridge with an exact similar design.

The bridge could be called the Washington Bridge if it were entirely in the city limits. That would require annexation of the part that is in Warren County. There could be opposition to that from Warren County.

What’s a good name for the new bridge? It could be named something that ties into its location in this section of Missouri, such as Gateway to the Ozarks since Highway 47 connects with Interstate 44 that passes through part of the Ozarks. Since it’s a uniquely designed bridge, an appropriate name is needed. What is unique about this section of Missouri, or Washington, that could be a name for the new bridge? No, the Corn Cob Pipe Bridge won’t fly!

There are bridges over the Missouri River that have been named. The closest is the bridge at Hermann, named after former Sen. Kit Bond, who was instrumental in obtaining funding for it.

If you have a name you think would be appropriate for consideration, send your suggestion to The Missourian, Bridge, P.O. Box 336, Washington, Mo. There is no guarantee any of the names suggested will be selected. This is an unofficial request for suggestions. The suggestions will be published, along with the names of the people who submitted the names. If you prefer your name not be used, those requests will be honored.

A name for the bridge would need the approval of MoDOT, perhaps even of the Legislature. The city of Washington may have suggestions also. In fact, it would have to agree to any name submitted.

This unique bridge needs a name other than just the Highway 47 Bridge Over the Missouri River.