JOPLIN, Mo. — More than $27 million. That’s the price tag of upgrades for Route 66 in Joplin.

It’s likely to be an extensive project, ranging from potholes and sidewalks to high-tech traffic signals.

“7th Street is a disaster. There are potholes so big they’ll damage your car,” said Jeanette Graves, Joplin Driver.

As part of her daily route to work, local driver Jeanette Graves cannot wait to see construction underway.

“They need to forget sidewalks and skate parks and instead, fix the streets in Joplin,” said Graves.

And that is the plan for 7th Street.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is targeting a four-mile stretch from Schifferdecker to Rangeline. Goals include a better driving surface but also increased safety and traffic flow.

“We are probably looking at a complete pavement rebuild along with some drainage improvements. The Florida intersection has been on the list for a long time and is needing an upgrade. We’re also looking at modernizing all the signals along the route, and interconnecting them so the timing will allow traffic to flow more smoothly,” said Craig Switzer, MODOT, SW District.

The roadway sees 18,000 cars and trucks per day.

“Right now, we have a consultant designer doing a traffic study. And so there’ll be looking at the traffic flow through the entire corridor, identifying some problem locations. Other than that, we’re just in the mode of taking public comments, so we want to hear from the people that live there, that work there, driving every day, and see what their ideas are for the priorities in the corridor,” said Switzer.

The public comment process is happening online.

We have a link for that here.