Missouri Road Network

By | October 13, 2022

US 65 at Missouri.

Missouri has an extensive road network that is also adequately developed. In addition to the freeways, there are also numerous 2×2 divided highways.

Road management

The road authority is the Missouri Department of Transportation, abbreviated MoDOT. MoDOT manages a very large network of roads, totaling 55,537 kilometers. This is divided into a primary system of 13,162 kilometers and a supplemental system of 41,375 kilometers. The state’s network of roads is larger than that of Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska combined. Many roads that would be under counties control in other states are state control in Missouri.

the Missouri Department of Transportation manages 10,376 bridges, including 53 major river bridges, the largest number of major river bridges of any state. The vast network of roads is to be financed by one of the lowest fuel taxes in the United States. The Missouri Constitution mandates that fuel and other auto taxes be spent only on the highway network. In 2019, the ‘Focus on Bridges’ program was launched to rapidly replace the bad bridges. By December 2020, the first 100 bridges from this program had been replaced.

In 1907 the first state highway engineer was appointed and in 1913 the State Highway Department was established. In 1952, the State Highway Department took over nearly 20,000 kilometers of county roads, with the policy that 95% of all residents live within 3 kilometers of a paved road. In 1974, the State Highway Department was renamed the Missouri State Department of Transportation, which was transformed into the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department in 1980. In 1996, the name was changed again to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

  • Bittranslators: State overview of Missouri, including geography, economy, population and history as well as introduction to major cities of Missouri.

Interstate Highways

Missouri’s Interstate Highway Network.

Missouri is crossed by several major Interstate Highways. Interstate 29 begins in Kansas City and heads north along the western border of Missouri, through St. Joseph toward Omaha. Interstate 35 enters the state in Kansas City and heads northeast to Des Moines. Interstate 44 forms a diagonal east-west connection through the south of the state, from Joplin through Springfield to St. Louis. Interstate 49 forms a north-south route through the west of the state, from Joplin to Kansas City, and is more or less an extension of I-29.

Interstate 55 forms a north-south route in the southeast of the state, from Memphis to St. Louis. Interstate 57 splits off I -55 at Sikeston and heads to Chicago as an alternate route. Interstate 64 begins in the western suburbs of St. Louis and heads east through the city toward Illinois. However, the state’s main highway is Interstate 70, which connects Missouri’s two largest states, Kansas City and St. Louis. This is a major transportation route for east-west traffic across the United States. A stub of Interstate 72 also runs into Missouri at Hannibal.

In addition, there are a number of auxiliary routes in the urban regions, with the exception of Interstate 155 running from Caruthersville to Dyersburg in Tennessee. Interstate 170 bypasses the St. Louis airport, and Interstate 229 is a part-double-deck highway through downtown St. Joseph. Interstate 255 and Interstate 270 make up St. Louis’ beltway. Interstate 435 forms Kansas City ‘s beltway while Interstate 470 forms a bypass through the southeastern suburbs of Kansas City. Interstate 635 also passes through Kansas City as a bypass of the portion in Kansas that extends just into Missouri. Interstate 670 is the recommended route through Kansas City for through east-west traffic, as I-70 is a less than optimal route around the city center.

  • Deluxesurveillance: Nickname of Missouri as The Show Me State. Also covers geography, history, economy, politics and administration of the state.

US Highways

Due to Missouri’s central location, numerous US Highways cross the state. A remarkably large number of major routes cross Missouri, although the main corridors have of course been replaced by Interstate Highways. Perhaps the most important US Highway in Missouri is US 36, which has 2×2 lanes across the state from St. Joseph to Hannibal. This is part of the Chicago – Kansas City Expressway or CKCE, although it is administratively numbered as State Route 110. Historically, US 71 was the main north-south route in the west of the state, but has been renumbered as I-49. The US 65 forms an important north-south route through the middle of the state, through the city of Springfield, and has been developed as a freeway there. US 60 is the southernmost major east-west route and is equipped with 2×2 lanes east of Springfield. US 54 forms a diagonal route and serves the capital Jefferson City. US 61 parallels I-55 south of St. Louis, but is the main north-south route in the region north of St. Louis and follows the Mississippi River.

State Highways

Missouri has a very extensive network of state routes. These are commonly referred to as the ‘Missouri Route XX’. It is divided into two classes, primary roads and supplemental roads. The primary roads supplement the network of US Highways at the interurban level. Some state routes have been developed as freeways, such as State Route 152 near Kansas City and State Route 364 and State Route 370 in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In the St. Louis region, State Route 21 and State Route 141 have also been partially developed as freeways. State Route 360 forms a freeway bypass of the city of Springfield.

Supplemental routes

The supplemental routes form a secondary road network that would be operated as a county road in many other states. The system was taken over from the counties by the state in 1952. Supplemental routes are not numbered but lettered, in principle using 19 letters of the alphabet. Some letters are skipped because they look too much like a number. The aim of the supplemental routes was to get 95% of all farms, schools, churches and shops within 2 kilometers of a paved road. Many supplemental routes are not much more than a few kilometers long. Supplemental routes are signposted.

The supplemental routes are divided into four classes;

  • Farm to Market Roads
  • Roads to State Parks
  • former routes of US Highways or other state highways
  • short connections at state borders to connect to the road network of the neighboring state

Toll roads

A DDI in Maryland Heights.

There are no general toll roads in Missouri. There is one toll bridge, the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge.

Diverging Diamond Interchange

Missouri was the first state to build a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI). The first appeared in 2009 in Springfield, and DDIs have been built in various locations, especially in larger cities since then. In the city of Springfield, several connections have been replaced by DDIs. The concept was a success and has been adopted in numerous other states since 2012.

History

The history of the road network begins in Missouri in the early 20th century. In 1903 the first speed limit was introduced, 9 miles per hour. In 1905, the world’s first gas station opened in St. Louis. Before that, gasoline was sold by the can in stores. Until 1907, the road network was managed by the counties, which usually had no expertise in road and bridge building. Moreover, there was little coordination between the counties. In 1907, the position of the state highway engineer was created, which came under the Board of Agriculture. With the rise of the automobile, the State Highway Department was established in 1913. With the Federal Aid Road Act from 1916 federal funding for roads became available. Before that, very little money was spent on the road network, which still consisted almost entirely of dirt roads.

In 1920, bonds worth $60 million were issued to “get Missouri out of the mud.” Many roads were bad or impassable after rainfall. In 1924, the first fuel tax was introduced in the state, $0.02 per gallon. In the 1920s, work was carried out on the first through roads with asphalt pavement. In 1929, US 40 was already completely paved between St. Louis and Kansas City, and a second, more southerly route via the capital Jefferson City, US 50 was under development. Priority was also given to US 66, which was already two-thirds asphalted by 1929. Elsewhere, only parts of the US Highways were paved.

As in many states on the Great Plains, the main road network was mainly paved in the 1930s. There was an urgent need for good asphalt roads, and the ‘New Deal’ that was supposed to counteract the economic depression helped with this, because a lot of money for investment from the federal government flowed to the states. The construction of bridges and roads had about the highest priority. By 1939 nearly all US Highways were paved, only what would later become US 160 through the extreme south of Missouri was then unpaved.

After the Second World War, asphalting the road network was still a high priority. In 1952, the state of Missouri took over 20,000 miles of county roads with the intention of asphalting them all so that nearly all residents would be brought within 2 miles of a paved road. Missouri thus had one of the largest road networks in the United States under state management. In other states, such roads are often handed over to the counties.

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge in St. Louis ( I-70 ).

Construction of the Interstate Highways network began immediately after the system was created in 1956, and the first section opened in 1958, a stretch of I-70 west of St. Louis. Also in 1958, the first section of I-44 at Joplin opened to traffic. Interstate 70 between St. Louis and Kansas City has been built at a rapid pace, the highway was already completed in 1967. Another early highway was I-57, the first section of which opened in 1960. The rest of the Interstate Highways were mostly completed in the late 1970s, although most routes were significantly completed by the late 1960s. By 1974, the entirety of I-55 through the southeastern part of the state was completed, and in 1977 the I-29 in northwestern Missouri was completed. The I-35 and I-57 both followed in 1978. The construction of the I-44 took a little longer, a total of 22 years. This was because I-44 was partly a phased upgrade of existing US 66, reducing the priority of making quiet intersections grade separated. By 1980, the entire I-44 was completed. After 1980, only a few new Interstates were opened. For example, I-170 in St. Louis was completed in 1985, and I-229 in St. Joseph in 1986. In 1987, the last section of I-435 opened around Kansas City. In 1991, the most recent Interstate Highway, I-670, opened in Kansas City. New highways have since been opened, but these were mainly US Highways and mainly state routes. In 2012, US 71 between Joplin and Kansas City was upgraded to Interstate 49. In 2014, the so that the priority to make quiet intersections grade separated was not so great. By 1980, the entire I-44 was completed. After 1980, only a few new Interstates were opened. For example, I-170 in St. Louis was completed in 1985, and I-229 in St. Joseph in 1986. In 1987, the last section of I-435 opened around Kansas City. In 1991, the most recent Interstate Highway, I-670, opened in Kansas City. New highways have since been opened, but these were mainly US Highways and mainly state routes. In 2012, US 71 between Joplin and Kansas City was upgraded to Interstate 49. In 2014, the so that the priority to make quiet intersections grade separated was not so great. By 1980, the entire I-44 was completed. After 1980, only a few new Interstates were opened. For example, I-170 in St. Louis was completed in 1985, and I-229 in St. Joseph in 1986. In 1987, the last section of I-435 opened around Kansas City. In 1991, the most recent Interstate Highway, I-670, opened in Kansas City. New highways have since been opened, but these were mainly US Highways and mainly state routes. In 2012, US 71 between Joplin and Kansas City was upgraded to Interstate 49. In 2014, the In 1987, the last section of I-435 opened around Kansas City. In 1991, the most recent Interstate Highway, I-670, opened in Kansas City. New highways have since been opened, but these were mainly US Highways and mainly state routes. In 2012, US 71 between Joplin and Kansas City was upgraded to Interstate 49. In 2014, the In 1987, the last section of I-435 opened around Kansas City. In 1991, the most recent Interstate Highway, I-670, opened in Kansas City. New highways have since been opened, but these were mainly US Highways and mainly state routes. In 2012, US 71 between Joplin and Kansas City was upgraded to Interstate 49. In 2014, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis for traffic, re-routing I-70 to Illinois.

Future

The priority in Missouri is to maintain existing infrastructure and expand existing roads, especially in the St. Louis area, several highways have been widened and bridges replaced in recent years. In Kansas City the traffic is relatively light, and work is mainly done on renovation and replacement. A political wish is to fully widen Interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis to 2×3 lanes or 4×2 lanes with separate lanes for trucks. However, this is not financially feasible and tolls are unpopular. I-70 is Missouri’s oldest highway and is in need of modernization.

Missouri Road Network