Governors of Missouri and Arkansas Celebrate Historic Partnership to Complete I-49 Connector
(KFVS) – Governors Mike Parson and Asa Hutchinson gathered Thursday, September 30 on the Missouri-Arkansas border for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The ceremony celebrated the completion of the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas connector. It includes the last 5 kilometers of the I-49 and I-29 corridors that stretch from North Dakota to Louisiana. Directors of the Missouri and Arkansas Department of Transportation joined the Governors for the occasion.
“We thank our transportation partners here in Missouri and across the Arkansas state border for completing this historic project and providing a vital connection to our communities,” Governor Parson said. “From Kansas City to Fort Smith, travelers will have safe and efficient travel options. This high-quality road will help promote tourism, business investment and labor market opportunities between our two great states. “
Missouri provided partial funding for the connector, and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Council received a $ 25 million federal grant that enabled the Missouri Department of Transportation to complete the Missouri portion of the project.
The first segment of I-49 was designated in Missouri in 2012, stretching from Kansas City to Pineville.
The I-49 and I-29 corridors encompass more than 1,600 miles of road, connecting six states: Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.
It will create additional links to ports in the New Orleans region in the Gulf of Mexico for the transport of various goods and services to and from the core states of America.
“Arkansas, Missouri, and federal transportation officials have been discussing the need for the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas connector for over 25 years,” said Patrick McKenna, director of MoDOT. “This success would not have been possible without the hard work of our team, as well as the support of our legislators and federal officials over the years.
While the final segment is 5 miles, the completed I-49 connector is 290 miles between Kansas City, Mo. and Fort Smith, Ark.
The new highway will be open to the public on Friday October 1.
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