Freeway Stretch to Be Named After Ex-Congressman

Sat May 03, 2008 - Midwest Edition

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) A retired Illinois congressman is getting recognition in a fitting way for his work establishing the interstate highway in his former congressional district.

A portion of Interstate 57 on April 25 will be named the Ken Gray Expressway.

The Democrat served 24 years in Congress and helped write the Interstate Highway Act that President Eisenhower signed into law in 1956.

After seeing that the freeway system drawn up then excluded southern Illinois, Gray threatened to halt construction of the entire country’s interstate highway system if his congressional district was left out.

Gray won out, making that what he considers his top accomplishment in office.

Gray’s old district runs from Jefferson County south to the state line.