McDonald County – A project to build the last five (5) miles of Interstate 49 in Missouri between Pineville and the Missouri/Arkansas state line begins the week of April 20, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved the project, known as the I-49 Missouri/Arkansas Connector, at its regular monthly meeting last week. It will relocate a four-lane divided highway to the west of the existing U.S. Route 71. The new highway will meet interstate standards with access only at interchanges.
The I-49 Missouri/Arkansas Connector project is moving ahead now because in December 2018, MoDOT regional planning partner, Northwest Arkansas Planning Commission (NWARPC), was successful in receiving a $25 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) federal grant. Those funds were added to approximately $45 million from MoDOT to complete the project.
Work is currently underway in northwest Arkansas to complete the segment of I-49 between Bella Vista and the Missouri/Arkansas state line.
When the Missouri/Arkansas Connector is complete, I-49 will stretch 290 miles between Kansas City and Ft. Smith, Ark.
Here’s a look at the project:
- Build a new four-lane divided highway that meets interstate standards between a point south of McDonald County Route H at Pineville and the Missouri/Arkansas state line
- Build a new interchange to connect I-49 with Missouri Route 90
Expected Traffic Impacts:
- Most work will be done away from traffic
- Occasional lane closings
- Traffic could be stopped at times
- Route 90 CLOSED mid- to late July for up to 101 days west of Jane for construction of new interchange
Weather and/or scheduling delays will alter the work schedule.
The prime contractor on the project is Emery Sapp and Sons, Inc. of Columbia.
The estimated total project cost is $70.3 million. The I-49 Connector project is scheduled for completion in September 2021.
The transformation of U.S. Route 71 to I-49 in Missouri has taken decades to accomplish. Planning for the final series of projects was begun in the late 1980s, with construction beginning in the early 1990s and continuing through 2012 when construction ended near Pineville.
When all segments of I-49 are completed in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana, and connected to I-29 in Kansas City, the corridor will cover 1,630 miles of highway. The interstate corridor will link busy Gulf Coast ports at New Orleans with south-central Canada near Winnipeg, a busy center of industry, transportation, agriculture, mineral mining and energy.
For more information about the I-49 Missouri/Arkansas Connector, click on this link.
(For more information, call MoDOT in Springfield at 417-895-7600 or visit www.modot.org/southwest)
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