I-49 connector will change route for some

MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. – The almost complete I-49 connector may be empty for now, but that won’t be the case on October 1st. That’s when the new I-49 connector will be open to commuters, and it means folks traveling between Missouri and Arkansas won’t have to take a Route 71 detour that goes through Pineville and Bella Vista and features plenty of stoplights.

“There’s a lot of commuter traffic that goes through there that lives in the area, but the traffic that wants to go from Fayetteville or go to Joplin or further, they can take this new I-49 around that,” said MoDOT area engineer Dave Taylor.

The completion of the I-49 has been decades in the making and took more than 70 million dollars to make happen.

MODOT says the new roadway will meet interstate standards, and unlike route 71 there will only be access at interchanges.

And while that’s sure to be music to the ears of anybody who hates traffic jams, it also means a lot more peace and quiet for folks like Pineville resident Dylan Allison who lives right off old 71.

“We’re really excited for the less semi traffic. A lot of semi traffic will be diverted to this new road,” said Dylan.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the connector’s completion on September 30th.