Northeast District Freight Plan

MoDOT’s Northeast District has 17 counties covering more than 10,000 square miles. Residents of Missouri’s northeast 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 and outdoor recreation. Hannibal, Kirksville, Moberly, Mexico, Troy and Warrenton are the largest cities in the district. Top industries include agribusiness, food processing, and manufacturing. Major employers include ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and Tyson.


Freight moves by multiple transportation modes in the Northeast District. Major area roads include I-70 and I-72 as well as US-24, US-36, US-54, US-61 and US-63. A regional airport is located in Kirksville. Major rail access is provided by Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific. The region also has Mississippi River port facilities in Lewis County.

Northeast District Insights

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

  • Capacity expansion and maintenance of highway networks are essential to ensuring network reliability. Specific examples of maintenance issues provided by stakeholders included US-36 from Shelbina to Hunnewell and Monroe City and along US-61 between Palmyra and Hannibal. Road surfaces in many sections are “rougher than a cob.” Capacity issues include too much truck traffic on I-70 and bottlenecking on US-61 in Hannibal and on the I-70 interchange in Warrenton.
  • Future growth is threatened by railroads closing local crossings and spurs and removing scales in this district.
  • Locks and dams along the Mississippi River need improvement. Port stakeholders in this region mentioned the deteriorating condition of the lock and dam system as a challenge for Missouri freight in the future.