General Project Description
The project will improve nineteen (19) bridges along the I-44 corridor between Sarcoxie and Halltown (Mile Markers 29-58). The work includes replacing 12 bridges and performing major rehabilitation work to seven others. Many of these bridges were constructed in the 1960s as I-44 was completed between the Illinois and Oklahoma state lines. Over the past 50-plus years, the bridges have deteriorated to the point where major work must be done to keep them safe for travel.
I-44 is a major freight route important to the nation’s commerce. A number of large national retailers have major distribution centers along I-44 in Missouri and others depend on I-44 for cross-country shipping.
Current traffic volumes in Jasper and Lawrence counties operate near capacity for single lane operations especially during morning and afternoon peak commute times, sometimes exceeding limits for single lane operation. Volumes also increase in the Joplin and Springfield areas. Additionally, during the summer months traffic volumes further increase as travelers make their way across the highway corridor to reach destinations in Oklahoma, St. Louis, Lake of the Ozarks and the Branson/Tri-Lakes area via Springfield.