I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector Project completed after more than 40 years

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FORT SMITH, Arks. — A major interstate project, decades in the making, is now finished.

We’re talking about the I-49 Missouri – Arkansas Connector Project. something that began back in the 1980’s.

Before the ribbon was cut — some classic cars took to what’s now a modern day stretch of interstate. A stretch that now connects 290 miles between Kansas City and Fort Smith.

Missouri Governor, Mike Parson and Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson were both on hand for today’s ceremony. The 70.3 million dollar project also includes five bridges, five-miles of four-lane divided highway and one interchange.

“When you look at interstate traffic all over our state right now, you see buildings being done, you see businesses going up all along these interstates, and really for small communities anymore it’s starting to spread out in some of the smaller towns, so I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for this part of our state, as well as Arkansas,” said Mike Parson — Missouri Governor (R).

“First of all for highway safety with this new Bella Vista Bypass, the Missouri Arkansas connector. But it’s also about our economies, and our future growth and this is going to expand opportunities tremendously,” said Asa Hutchinson — Arkansas Governor (R).

Both governors thanked workers of their respective departments of transportation for their countless hours of work.

And when all segments of I-49 are finished in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana — and connected to I-29 in Kansas City, the corridor will cover 1630 miles of highway.

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