The Story Behind Memorial Highway Signs
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season! For many, visiting friends and family will include traveling around our great state of Missouri. Along with the beautiful fall foliage and holiday lights, there will often be the opportunity to see memorial signs posted along the highways. Behind each highway memorial sign you see, there will be a story.
Drawing from MoDOT resources, I’d like to tell you more about the memorial designation programs for highways and bridges in Missouri. I would also like to share the story of a legislative highway designation bill I helped pass in the 2019 session.
Our state statutorily has established four designation programs allowing individuals, organizations, places or events to be memorialized along Missouri’s roadway system.
The Memorial Highway and Bridge Program includes two separate procedures, and either can be followed: The Legislative Process honors fallen law enforcement, military soldiers, emergency personnel or state employees killed in the line of duty. The Application Process designates Missouri highways and bridges after an individual, organization, an event or place. Heroes Way- Designation for Missouri residents, who were in the U.S. Armed Forces and killed in action. Drunk Driving Victim (David’s Law) – Memorializes any victim killed on a state highway as result of a vehicular accident caused by an intoxicated driver. Adopt-A-Highway – Adopts a section of state roadway in memory of loved one by volunteering to pick up litter, mow, beautify a roadside through landscaping or planting Missouri native wildflowers and grasses.
A fee is charged for participating in the memorial designation program and is paid for by private donations. The payment covers the cost of constructing, installing and maintaining the signs or markers. Fees are set by the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission.
If the sign or marker is damaged beyond repair or is stolen, MoDOT will replace the sign or marker during the period specified in the program. No section of roadway, bridge or interchange may be designated more than once. All memorial signs and markers remain the property of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
In the recent 2019 session, I had the honor of working with the State Representative of the 94th District to sponsor the “Cloria Brown Memorial Highway” bill in memory of our colleague, State Representative Cloria Brown. A champion of her citizens’ issues and the fight against human trafficking, Representative Brown passed away in 2018, while in service as a legislator.
The first legislation presented on the Floor in the 2019 session of the House of Representative’s 100th General Assembly, this bill followed the “Legislative Process” for highway designation. Her citizens came to testify in committee hearings, the House and Senate passed the bill, and the Governor signed it in law on March 25, 2019. Then came the fundraising aspect by friends and colleagues to collect $2400 in private donations to pay for the sign and the memorial dedication this Fall to see the sign installed in her former district by MoDOT. Now, if you get the chance to drive down Lindbergh Blvd on Interstate 55 through St. Louis, you will see the “Cloria Brown Memorial Highway” sign and know the story of this great lady behind the signage.
For more information about highway and bridge designations, contact MoDOT at 1-575-751-7643 or my office for assistance.
Contact Representative Pike at Patricia.Pike@house.mo.gov or call 573-751-5388 with your comments and for assistance on state issues, resolutions, flags, and visits in District and at the Capitol. Contact Legislative Assistant, Matt Glover, at Matthew.Glover@house.mo.gov. Our 126th District Office is open year-round at the Missouri Capitol Monday through Thursday – 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Room 404A.