Counties Impacted
Route Impacted
Work Type
Conceptual Study
Planning Phase

I-29/I-35/U.S. 169 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study Overview

MoDOT is facilitating a Planning and Environmental Linkages Study of the I-29/I-35/U.S. 169 corridors to develop both short-term and long-term alternatives for improving safety for all travelers, reducing congestion including heavy truck traffic, addressing pavement and bridge conditions, and positioning for future transportation needs. 

The project study area includes three highly-trafficked highways in the Kansas City metropolitan area that extends through parts of Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties.

In conjunction with MoDOT, the project team is developing both short-term and long-term alternatives for highway improvements and is seeking public feedback. The intent of the alternatives is to address the following: 

  • Improving safety for all travelers
  • Reducing congestion including heavy truck traffic
  • Addressing pavement and bridge conditions
  • Positioning for future transportation needs

Public Engagement

There are several opportunities for people to provide feedback during the study:

  • Stakeholder outreach will occur via two ways: (1) one-on-one and/or group meetings and (2) key stakeholder committee meetings.
  • A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will be established, and up to four meetings will be held during the course of the PEL Study.  The CAC will include diverse representation from stakeholder groups. 
  • Public meetings will be held two times during the study to gather input from the public.   
  • Project updates via posting information on the project website, sending out regular email updates and posting to social media will occur during the duration of the PEL Study.
  • Surveys will be used to gather feedback from the community to gain insights on the needs and challenges within the study area.

Public Meeting #2 Presentation

You can still view the presentation

In case you missed it! You can still view the self-guided virtual presentation information from the second public meeting held on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Access the self-guided virtual presentation to learn about the project. The survey has now closed.

PEL area

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Study Information 

MoDOT facilitated a public meeting on Oct. 27, 2022 and provided a virtual presentation option through Nov. 14, 2022 as part of the I-29/I-35/U.S. 169 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study. This was one of the first opportunities for community engagement throughout the study’s lifetime.

MoDOT anticipates incorporating recommendations made as part of the PEL study into future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) studies, per Title 23 of the US Code, Part 168.

If you missed the public meeting but would still like the opportunity to gather information, you can still review the virtual self-guided presentation and resources below. The online survey opportunity closed on Monday, November 14.

Project History


Submitted in 2020, the BUILD planning grant funds a planning study for the I-29, I-35 and U.S. 169 corridors north of the Missouri River to identify the ultimate solutions for these corridors serving the northern portions of the Kansas City metropolitan area. MoDOT helped fund this story. The city of Kansas City has also partnered in this project. 


What is a PEL?

The Federal Highway Administration Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) program works to ease project delivery through efficient and integrated decision-making. The PEL process links planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The purpose of PEL is to conduct a planning process with procedures and documentation that are aligned with and acceptable for use in future NEPA studies. The PEL process aims to avoid document duplication and streamlines the NEPA process by conducting preliminary activities and developing milestones as a precursor and complement to NEPA. The PEL will:

  • Establish the Preliminary Purpose and Need Statement, including goals and objectives
  • Identify key environmental and community resources and constraints.
  • Develop and screen alternatives.
  • Determine risks and preparing potential mitigation strategies.
  • Develop a plan to transition from the PEL to NEPA phase.

The Missouri Department of Transportation anticipates incorporating recommendations made as part of the PEL study into future NEPA studies, per Title 23 of the US Code, Part 168.



Project Study Area Map

The PEL study area is shown on the map and extends through portions of Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties. As shown in blue, the project limits extend along sections of I-29, I-35, and U.S. 169. The project limits follow I-29 from Missouri Highway 45 southeast to the I-29/I-35 merge and then continues south across the Missouri River to connect into the northeast corner of the downtown freeway loop. In addition, the project limits follow I-35 from I-435 southwest to the I-29/I-35 merge and a portion of U.S. 169 from NW 68th Street south to its merge with I-29.

The study area fully encompasses the project limits and accounts for areas beyond those limits that are anticipated to influence traffic operations and safety. The study area also encompasses a broad enough extent to account for community resources, natural resources, and other potential environmental constraints.

Project Timeline 

Task 1 - Study Initiation

  • Framework and methodology- Completed in Spring 2022

Task 2 - Baseline Conditions

Summer 2022

  • Data collection and traffic projection plan
  • Baseline conditions report
  • Summary of previous studies and project history technical report
  • PEL study area map
  • Existing conditions
  • No-Build analysis
  • Purpose and need
  • Environmental constraints


Task 3 - Alternatives Development and Analysis

Fall-Winter 2022

  • Alternatives screening methodology
  • Alternatives development and analysis report
  • Development of the universe of alternatives
  • Fatal flaw evaluation 
  • Level one screening
  • Development of the reasonable alternatives
  • Reasonable alternatives level 2

Task 4 - Transition to NEPA

Spring 2023

  • PEL study report
  • PEL questionnaire
  • PEL to NEPA transition report


Summer 2023