I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector opens late Thursday night to all traffic

Joplin News First
“It’s official! I-49 Missouri/Arkansas Connector is OPEN to traffic connecting Kansas City to Ft. Smith, Ark. This photo is of the first driver to travel on the new SB lanes.” — MoDOT SWMo

McDONALD COUNTY, Mo. — Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. MODOT opened the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector to all lanes of traffic to the Bella Vista Bypass.

A celebration to mark the completion of the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector was held Thursday, September 30 hosted by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchens on the Missouri/Arkansas state line near Jane.

LIVE! I-49 RIBBON CUTTING HOSTED BY MODOT / ARDOT & Gov. Parson and Gov. Hutchinson on the state line

LIVE! DEDICATION I-49 Connector; The Missouri-Arkansas commute just got faster, Bella Vista Bypass >> BIT.ly/2XWmz0q (…+) MoDOT and ARDOT, along with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of I-49.

Posted by Joplin News First on Thursday, September 30, 2021

PROJECT: I-49 Missouri/Arkansas Connector

Where: I-49 Missouri/Arkansas Connector in McDonald County between Pineville and Missouri/Arkansas state line

When: as of 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30

What: Final five (5) miles of I-49 in McDonald County between Pineville and Missouri/Arkansas state line is OPEN to traffic. With completion of the project, drivers can now travel the 290 miles between Kansas City and Fort Smith, Arkansas on a new four-lane divided interstate highway.


Project Information: A project to build the final five (5) miles of I-49 in Missouri began in April 2020 after the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved the project.

The transformation of U.S. Route 71 to I-49 in Missouri has taken decades to accomplish. Planning for the final series of projects was begun in the late 1980s, with construction beginning in the early 1990s and continuing through 2012 when construction ended near Pineville.

Work on the final leg of I-49 began when MoDOT’s regional partner, Northwest Arkansas Planning Commission (NWARPC), received a $25 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) federal grant. Those funds were added to approximately $45 million from MoDOT to complete the project.

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