One of Missouri's newest lawmakers says the announcement of federal funding for construction on I-49 will have a big impact on his district.
State Representative Elect Dirk Deaton says making I-49 four lanes all the way to Northwest Arkansas is vital for the future of McDonald County and Southwest Missouri. The $25 million dollar, 18.9 mile section of interstate will be funded by the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development or BUILD program. Deaton says while that will take a lot of financial burden off the state, it doesn't mean the state won't have to consider setting money aside for the project.
"We did just receive news that we got the federal grant for $25 million, I think we might need to see some additional state funds, appropriations to finish that project, we'll just have to wait and see, but I'm committed to doing everything I can to ensure we complete that project as soon as possible,” says Dirk Deaton.
Multiple United States senators have been working on this project including Roy Blunt. Senator Blunt says "completion of the critical stretch of the I-49 arkansas-missouri connector is 25 years in the making and I'm thrilled we're one step closer to getting it done."