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New Missouri I-49

Commercial Motor Vehicle Laws Differ on Interstates and Defense Highways


History will be made Dec. 12 in Joplin when Interstate 49 between Kansas City and Pineville in Missouri becomes official.

A public celebration and I-49 sign unveiling will be held at 12 noon that day in the gym at Joplin East Middle School, 7501 E. 26th Street. Federal, state and local government officials are expected to participate.

I-49 shields installed along U.S. 71 will be uncovered or turned around to face traffic on Dec. 12.

Progress of I-49 in Missouri

U.S. 71 along the western edge of Missouri south of Kansas City -- a distance of 185 miles -- was upgraded to interstate highway standards, with new interchanges, overpasses and outer roads.

The transformation of U.S. 71 to I-49 in Missouri took decades to accomplish.
Planning for the final series of projects began in the late 1980s, with construction beginning in the early 1990s and continuing through 2012. The cost reached nearly $500 million.

Linking I-49 and I-29

Highway officials in Arkansas and Louisiana are also working to complete Interstate 49 in their states. The first section of highway designated as I-49 was in 1984 in Louisiana.

Taken together, Interstate 49 south of Kansas City and Interstate 29 north of Kansas City encompass 1,630 miles of highway. The interstate corridor links busy Gulf Coast ports at New Orleans with south-central Canada near Winnipeg, a busy center of industry, transportation, agriculture, mineral mining and energy.

The mid-continent interstate – through Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota – will improve the flow of goods and people. It is expected to attract more commerce from businesses seeking to locate or expand.

Safety will be enhanced because interstate highway access is allowed only at interchanges, with no more at-grade intersections.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Laws and Rules Differ

Any state statute or rule that applies to Missouri highways but excludes interstate or defense highways is impacted by the change in designation from U.S. 71 to Interstate 49.

Below is a table of some rules that change and the Missouri State statute that applies.

The Kansas City Commercial Zone, including the city limits of Harrisonville, is grandfathered and will not change. Commercial zone rules – 304.190 RSMo.



U.S. Route 71 Interstate 49 Missouri Statute
Vehicles may exceed single, tandem and gross weight limitations up to 2,000 lbs. as long as the total gross weight does not exceed 80,000 lbs. Interstate weight limit rules apply as established in 304.180 RSMo. 304.180 RSMo
Moving agricultural implements temporarily or operating occasionally on highways are exempt from width, height and length restrictions and may be moved without a permit under own power. Agricultural implements cannot move under their own power on an interstate. Ag implements must be hauled and must be permitted if the load exceeds width, height and length restrictions. 304.170 RSMo
Sludge disposal units may move under own power without a permit 11’5” wide. Sludge disposal units must be hauled and must be permitted if the load  exceeds width, height and length restrictions. 304.170 RSMo
Solid waste haulers may carry 22,400 lbs. on a single axle and 44,800 lbs. on a tandem axle. Interstate weight limit rules apply as established in 304.180 RSMo. 304.184 RSMo
Local log truck tractor may haul 22,400 lbs. on single axle and 44,800 lbs. on tandem axle. Interstate weight limit rules apply as established in 304.180 RSMo. 301.010 RSMo







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