Southeast District Freight Plan

MoDOT’s Southeast District has 25 counties covering more than 16,000 square miles. Residents of Missouri’s southeast 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. Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff and Sikeston are the largest cities in the district. Top industries include agribusiness, manufacturing, life sciences and transportation/logistics. Major employers include Procter & Gamble and Tyson.


Freight moves by multiple transportation modes in the Southeast District. Major area roads include I-55, I-57 and I-155 as well as US-60, US-61, US-62, US-63, US-67 and US-412. Regional airports are located in Cape Girardeau, New Madrid and Sikeston. Major rail access is provided by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific. The region also has Mississippi River port facilities at SEMO Port in Scott City, Mississippi County, New Madrid County, Pemiscot County and Ste. Genevieve County.

Southeast District Insights

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

  • East-west connectivity is limited regionally and a St. Louis bypass could help congestion. Capacity concerns in the St. Louis area led many stakeholders to suggest an east-west or diagonal corridor to provide “this area a direct route through central Missouri” as an alternative to the longer I-55/I-70 route. Another interviewee said Missouri “needs an ‘X’ through the middle of the state to connect southeast Missouri with Kansas City and Kirksville to Joplin and Springfield.” Stakeholders also suggested a freeway-type roadway (i.e. four-laning US-60 across the state).
  • US-67 is a key north-south connection, and completing the route through Arkansas would increase economic opportunities.
  • Industry relies on secondary highways for time-sensitive delivery and connections to interstates, and the condition of these roadways could be improved. Several stakeholders suggested resurfacing and capacity upgrades.
  • Stakeholders are concerned about funding for ports and waters for small-level capital projects. Additionally, several stakeholders commented about the need for consistent support of dredging.