U.S. 71 to become Missouri’s newest interstate highway

U.S. 71 signU.S. 71 officially achieves interstate status from Joplin to Kansas City on Dec. 12. The Missouri Department of Transportation is hosting a ceremony to unveil Missouri’s newest interstate at the East Middle School in Joplin, Mo. New signs marking the I-49 corridor will be installed and unveiled throughout the day. MoDOT will also hold a news conference at 4:30 p.m. at Gail’s Harley-Davidson, 5900 Missouri Route 150, Grandview, Mo.

At the news conference, mayors from along the corridor in Jackson and Cass counties in MoDOT’s Kansas City District will speak about how important interstate highways are to supporting growth and development. Each of these communities ― Cass and Jackson counties, Kansas City, Grandview, Belton, Raymore, Peculiar, Harrisonville and Archie ― have worked with MoDOT to help finance or develop transportation corridor improvements. Local governments, as well as chambers of commerce, community development organizations and businesses, will elaborate on the accelerated potential that I-49 will bring to the corridor.

I-49 will be the first interstate highway in Cass County, and for several counties to the south. This is part of a broader effort by Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri to complete I-49 from New Orleans to Kansas City, with the ultimate goal of connecting Canada to the Gulf Coast.

For more information, contact MoDOT’s Steve Porter.

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