New I-44 interchange one step closer to reality

Joplin’s city council is giving the go ahead for the Missouri Department of Transportation to ask the Federal Highway Administration to ok plans for a new entrance and exit off Interstate 44.

It’s an interchange at County Road 190 and Prigmor Road to the south. MODOT’s designs include ramps with roundabouts.

Currently, a bridge sits where the interchange would be added.

The property sits inside the Crossroads Center Business Park.

The planned interchange was a big factor in Heartland Foods Blue Buffalo coming to Joplin with 150 jobs. The company was concerned about the traffic level at the Flying J exit.

“It serves a lot of traffic with Flying J, with Conway Trucking nearby, a lot of trucks go through there and people can look to the future and question that interchange – going to handle more and more trucks and I think Heartland or Blue Buffalo looked at that and they questioned that,” says Dan Salisbury, an assistant district engineer with MODOT.

Salisbury says the interchange will relieve congestion but could also lure other companies to the industrial park and boost activity in Duenweg.