Kansas City District Freight Plan

MoDOT’s Kansas City District has nine counties covering more than 5,650 square miles. Residents of Missouri’s Kansas City region enjoy an excellent quality of life with the cost of living far below the national average, and good access to excellent hospitals, educational institutions, cultural amenities and outdoor recreation. Kansas City, Independence and Lee’s Summit are the largest cities in the district. Growing industries include advanced energy, biosciences, data centers, engineering, and manufacturing. Many major companies are headquartered in the KC region including Cerner Corporation, Hallmark and H&R Block.


Freight moves by multiple transportation modes in the Kansas City District. Major area roads include I-29, I-35, I-49, I-70, I-435, I-470, I-635 and I-670 as well as US-24, US-40, US-50, US-56, US-65, US-69 and US-169. Kansas City International Airport is the area’s largest airport and one of only two major commercial airports in the state. Major rail access is provided by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Central Midland, Canadian Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Kaw River, Missouri & Northern Arkansas, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific. Kansas City is the largest rail hub in the nation in terms of tonnage. The region also has a Missouri River port in Kansas City.

Kansas City District Insights

What are the most important issues, needs and concerns for freight movement in the Kansas City District? Here is what we have heard during listening sessions so far:

  • The Kansas City community is proud of its status as one of the largest rail freight and trucking hubs in the country. Stakeholders commented that integrating different freight modes is important regionally and nationally. Assets in this district include a rapidly growing Foreign Trade Zone and the BNSF multi-modal facility located across the state line in Kansas, which will have the largest speculative space in the country.
  • Capacity upgrades to I-70 are a top priority in the Kansas City District as well as across the State. The importance of the I-70 corridor to freight movement is echoed throughout all of the districts. Additional lanes were suggested to provide better reliability along the corridor. Other top priority corridors identified included I-44 and the south leg of I-435.
  • Private sector engagement is a crucial part of crafting a meaningful freight plan. Stakeholders suggest that key businesses, including railroads, should be brought into crafting the plan and that the best way to do that is through cultivating relationships and building trust. In addition, information on private sector freight movements that has not been available in the past is needed for a complete freight picture and a plan that enhances economic development in the State.
  • The increase in the use of e-commerce is changing the way that freight stakeholders conduct business and will require a freight system that accommodates that shift. Stakeholders pointed out that more distribution centers will lead to greater pressure on roadways.