Missouri, Arkansas celebrate opening of I-49 Connector

Connector includes final 5 miles of the I-49 and I-29 corridor that stretches from North Dakota to Louisiana

October 06, 2021 / 2 minute read
Missouri, Arkansas celebrate ribbon cutting for I-49 Connector
Image: Missouri DOT

Gov. Mike Parson (R-Missouri) and Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas) recently joined together at a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector.

The connector includes the final 5 miles of the I-49 and I-29 corridor that stretches from North Dakota to Louisiana, according to Gov. Parson's office.

"We thank our transportation partners here in Missouri and across the state line in Arkansas for completing this historic project and providing a vital connection for our communities," Governor Parson said in a statement. “It’s not often we get to partner with our neighbors on such important and impactful infrastructure projects like this one, but we look forward to additional opportunities to work together in the future.”

Missouri programmed partial funding for the connector, and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Council was awarded a $25 million federal grant that allowed 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 corridor consists of more than 1,600 miles of roadway, connecting six states: Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The connector will create an additional link to New Orleans area ports in the Gulf of Mexico for the transportation of various goods and services to and from these states. 

“Arkansas, Missouri, and federal transportation officials have discussed the necessity of the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector for more than 25 years,” MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said in a statement. “This success wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the hard work of our team, as well as the support from our legislators and federal officials through the years.”

This final segment measures just 5 miles, but the completed I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector stretches 290 miles between Kansas City, Missouri and Fort Smith, Arkansas. The newly constructed highway opened to the public on Oct. 1, 2021.

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SOURCE: Office of Gov. Mike Parson

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