A Second Interstate Could Be Built And Widened In Missouri Soon


An effort may be underway to repair and widen a second interstate in Missouri. Cody Smith, chairman of the Missouri House Budget Committee, released the House’s next budget plan for the state. It includes more than $727 million to rebuild parts of Interstate 44, including adding six lanes at Springfield, Joplin, and Rolla.

Smith said, “This is an investment that will last for generations to rebuild one of the main roads in our state.” The I-49 and 44 crossroads are one of the few places where MoDOT is confident enough to start these projects. These are mostly around Springfield and into Joplin.

With almost 300 miles of road, I-44 is Missouri’s largest highway.

Smith’s plan would also add new interchanges in Joplin where I-44 and I-49 meet.

Smith said, “It is the busiest road in the state of Missouri.” “And going through Springfield in particular is very crowded and sometimes dangerous to travel through.” There is no doubt that the Joplin I-49/I-44 crossroads is one of the busiest in the country. It gets very crowded there, and this will help ease that by adding six lanes, three in each direction.

Smith, R-Carthage, praised MoDOT’s work during a stop in Joplin on Tuesday.

“Because of the smart financing they’ve used in the past year since we put together that I-70 package, I think they will save enough money on the back end of that project to pay for the I-44 project in the long run,” Smith said.

Smith also wants the state to pay $100 million to fix roads in rural areas and areas with few cars.

When lawmakers come back from spring break next week, the House Budget Committee will get right back to work on the $50 billion budget plan.

Later this year, work should start on making I-70 six lanes across the whole state.

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