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U.S. 50 Corridor Study - Preferred Improvement Strategy Results

U.S. 50

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U.S. 50

Preferred Improvement Strategy

U.S. 50


U.S. 50

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A Preferred Improvement Strategy for the U.S. 50 Corridor, the 10-mile stretch of highway between I-470 and Highway 7 in Eastern Jackson County, has been identified.

The planning document, created by the Missouri Department of Transportation and its study team, led by TranSystems Corporation, identifies improvements and additions to the existing highway system that will improve the safety and efficiency of U.S. 50 and minimize traffic congestion to the area based on projected traffic volumes over the next 30 years.

The improvement strategy also addresses pedestrian, bicyclist and transit-user services and facilities in the study area, representing a total transportation system that meets the area’s long-range goals and objectives.

The plan proposes enhancements to the freeway-to-freeway interchange at I-470 and U.S. 50, widening sections of the existing highway, upgrading existing interchanges, adding additional interchanges and an overpass, converting the highway to an access-controlled freeway, and reconfiguring traffic flow on outer roads.

The proposal takes into consideration many concerns and suggestions voiced by area residents, business owners, civic leaders and daily travelers through an extensive one-and-a-half year public involvement process.

Major improvements identified in the proposed strategy call for:

  • Expanding the capacity of the I-470 and U.S. 50 interchange by adding flyover ramps.

  • Widening U.S. 50 from four lanes to six lanes from I-470 to Smart/Milton Thompson Road, with additional auxiliary lanes between interchanges to accommodate entering and exiting traffic.

  • Converting the four-lane highway to an access-controlled freeway from Todd George Road east to Missouri 7.

  • Maintaining and enhancing access at Chipman Road, Third Street, Jefferson Street, Route 291 North and Todd George Road and adding auxiliary lanes to assist drivers to get on and off the highway.

  • Creating a freeway-to-freeway interchange with Route 291 South between Jefferson Street and Route 291 North.

  • Adding interchanges at Blackwell Road and Smart Road/Milton Thompson Road.

  • Creating an overpass at Harris Road.

  • Expanding local access in the vicinity of I-470 and U.S. 50 by constructing a half-diamond interchange on I-470 at Pryor Road and a half-diamond interchange at Blue Parkway, with connector roads in between them to ease traffic flow.

  • Removing existing ramps on the north side of Chipman Road and the south side of Colbern Road to decrease highway commuter traffic congestion.

Other proposed changes:

  • Third Street will go over rather than under U.S. 50.

  • Improvements to the Third Street interchange will provide direct access from Ward Road to and from U.S. 50 to the north.

  • One-way outer roads from Third Street to Route 291 North in order to maintain access to all existing interchanges, provide access to the new Route 291 South interchange, and to minimize the impact on private property.

  • Planned parallel outer roads from Todd George Road to Missouri 7 that are pushed back from the highway, allowing for development to occur on both sides of the outer roads.


"What’s unique about this section east of Todd George Road is how we’ve planned the parallel outer roads so that the city, rather than MoDOT will control these streets as development occurs along them in the future," said Scott Humphrey, MoDOT project manager for the study.

"It’s a better system design of local streets and state highways that will minimize infrastructure investment and provide better traffic service over the long term."

Continued cooperation between MoDOT, the city of Lee’s Summit and Jackson County will assure that the preferred improvement strategy is followed.  And as land development along the corridor continues, MoDOT will work with the local officials on setting aside land needed for outer roads and highways, Humphrey added.

The project’s next steps include developing a preliminary engineering document that will focus on the feasibility of the recommendations and right-of -way issues.  The study team will develop a "20 percent plan," a preliminary design that identifies right-of-way needed to accommodate future construction when funding becomes available.

MoDOT and its study team also will continue the public involvement process as funding becomes available for various stages of the project.  The only improvements that have been funded are the half-diamond interchanges on I-470 at Pryor Road and Blue Parkway and the connector roads between them.  The funding came about through a cooperative arrangement between MoDOT, the City of Lee’s Summit, and private developers.  The City of Lee’s Summit and MoDOT started this project in the spring of 2002. Construction of geometric changes to the I-470/U.S. 50 interchange with the addition of a half-diamond interchange at Pryor Road are scheduled to begin in January 2007.

"We want to be sure the public understands that their input does not stop at the completion of this study.  As funding is identified for any portion of the improvements and we begin the design process, we will present our plans to the public just like we do on any major project.  The corridor study will be a good guide for us and will help the public understand our goals for this important highway," said Humphrey.

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