A stretch of road in Missouri is about to become a little cleaner and whole lot more controversial. The state’s Department of Transportation has approved the ‘adopt a highway’ application filed by a 9/11 “truther” group.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has accepted paperwork completed by the St. Louis 9/11 Questions Meetup Group, a collective of locals who say they are “concerned about the many disturbing aspects” of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
On their website, the organization sells t-shirts that read “The 9/11 debacle was an INSIDE job” and another with former-President George W. Bush above a quote from Hermann Göring, Adolf Hitler’s Reich-Marshall.
Beginning soon, a portion of state road will be fitted with signs advertising the group in exchange for their cooperation in picking up little.
“We are in the US and everyone has the right to their viewpoint,” Tom Blair, assistant district engineer for MoDOT in St. Louis, tells ABC News.
This isn’t the first time his department has been tasked with making a decision that demanded a tough call. An application filed by the Ku Klux Klan yielded a legal battle that went almost all the way to the Supreme Court before the KKK was given the go-ahead. Ever since, anyone that is interested in sponsoring a section of roadway is allowed to do so.
“MoDOT has been there,” Blair tells ABC. “After they won the right to adopt, we modified the process. We had to make sure anyone could be approved.”
A similar suit almost opened up in the state of Georgia earlier this year when the International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County, GA asked to adopt a road.
“All we want to do is adopt this piece of road and clean it,” Harley Hanson, exalted cyclops of the Union County Klan, told Fox News at the time. “We’re not doing this for a membership drive; we’ve got all the members we want. And we’ve got intentions to do it more than four times per year.”
MoDOT’s Blair tells NBC that the adopt-a-highway program brings in over $1 million each year in trash collection costs, and, without it, “all roadsides in Missouri would be much dirtier.”
“We can’t deny an adopter group a section of highway to pick up trash just based on their belief or opinions,” Holly Dentner, a state Transportation Department spokeswoman, adds to the network. “Should they not fulfill the obligations, we can cancel and remove the signs.”
The families of Missouri residents killed during the 9/11 attacks have voiced opposition to the contract between the truther group and the MoDOT on the basis that they don’t believe the government was responsible for the loss of their loved ones.
“Certainly we would not be in agreement with an organization that believes that our US government had anything to do at all with 9/11,” Warren Nelson of Kirkwood, MO tells ABC. “No way.”
“I would not want to drive down and see a sign like that,” adds Nelson, who lost his son on 9/11.