Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Kansas City's US Highway 71 Officially Becomes A Part Of New Interstate 49
Once completed, the northern portion of I-49 will end at the ramp to I-435 and I-470 in Kansas City. This split will give drivers heading north two options: either taking I-29 which ends in Manitoba, Canada, or I-35, which ends in Duluth, Minnesota. The southern part of I-49 will end in New Orleans at the Gulf of Mexico.
Progress on the road has been slower in Arkansas and Louisiana, although Louisiana’s portion of I-49 could be completed within the next year. Arkansas’ portion of the highway is mostly new construction, with a $2 billion estimated cost to complete a road between I-30 and I-40. Funding has been a major issue in Arkansas for new roads, which has been the primary cause for delay.
Missouri’s cost for the project was an estimated $400 million, much lower than Arkansas’ cost due to US 71 was already a four-lane highway. Most of the construction done including removing at-grade intersections by building new interchanges.
I-49 is expected to give the country’s economy a boost by significantly improving transportation around the Midwest. The planned route will intersect with nine existing interstates running from east-to-west, creating a transportation grid that will improve the movement of both goods and people.
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