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Interstate 44 (Missouri)

This article is about the section of Interstate 44 in Missouri. For the entire length of the highway, see Interstate 44.

Interstate 44
;">Route information
Maintained by MoDOT
Length:
Existed: 1956 – present
;">Major junctions
West end: Template:Jct/extra I-44 / Will Rogers Tpk. near Joplin
  Template:Jct/extra US 166 / US 400 near Joplin
Template:Jct/extra I-49 / US 71 near Joplin
Template:Jct/extra US 160 in Springfield
Template:Jct/extra US 65 in Springfield
Template:Jct/extra US 63 in Rolla
Template:Jct/extra US 50 near Union
Template:Jct/extra I-270 in Sunset Hills
Template:Jct/extra US 50 / US 61 / US 67 in Kirkwood
Template:Jct/extra I-55 / I-64 / US 40 in St. Louis
East end: Template:Jct/extra I-70 in St. Louis
Length:
Length:
Length:
Length:
;">
;">Highway system

Missouri Highways
Supplemental

Interstate 44 (I-44) in the U.S. state of Missouri runs northeast from the Oklahoma state line near Joplin to I-55 in downtown St. Louis. It runs for about 290 miles (470 km) in the state.

Route description

Interstate 44 enters Missouri in Newton County at the eastern terminus of the Will Rogers Turnpike, 200 yards south of the Kansas state line. The first interchange in Missouri is the eastern terminus of both U.S. Highway 166 and U.S. Highway 400. This highway next goes through southern Joplin and then begins a concurrency with Interstate 49/U.S. Highway 71 at Exit 11 just after entering Jasper County. The freeway turns to a more easterly heading (the old route of US 166), and then I-49/U.S. 71 splits off to the north at Exit 18.

I-44 next enters Lawrence County. Near Mount Vernon, the highway curves to the northeast. The section of highway to Halltown is a completely new highway, not oversunning any previous highways. At Halltown, the road curves back to due east, beginning to follow the general pathway of old U.S. Highway 66, which it does all the way to downtown St. Louis. I-44 then goes around the western and northern sides of Springfield, serving as the western terminus of the James River Freeway, as well as crossing both Route 13 and U.S. Highway 65. The Interstate Highway continues northeast, bypassing Lebanon.

In Pulaski County, I-44 enters the Mark Twain National Forest, and then leaves it to provide access to Waynesville, St. Robert, and Fort Leonard Wood, before re-entering the national forest. The freeway leaves the forest in Phelps County west of Rolla. I-44 then goes through Rolla, where it meets U.S. Highway 63. It continues its northeast course, passing near St. James, Cuba, Bourbon, Sullivan, and Saint Clair.


I-44 next goes north of Pacific before moving into St. Louis County. I-44 then bisects Eureka before serving as the southern boundary of Route 66 State Park (the former site of Times Beach, known for its dioxin contamination and its eventual demolition and Superfund cleanup). I-44 then runs across unincorporated land before entering Fenton and having an interchange with Interstate 270 in Sunset Hills. I-44 then goes through Crestwood, Kirkwood, Oakland, Webster Groves, and Shrewsbury before entering the City of St. Louis. I-44 runs on a due east course through St. Louis before ending at Interstate 55 in downtown just west of the Mississippi River.

History

I-44 follows the general route of, and completely replaced, historic U.S. Route 66 across Missouri.

A section of I-44 was moved slightly north between Powellville and Doolittle. The old road is highly visible for eastbound traffic near Powellville. As of April 2006, the rocks carved away for the new roadbed have virtually no lichen, reflecting that this construction occurred rather recently.[1]

Future

The eastern terminus of I-44 is slated to be changed when the new I-70 Mississippi River Bridge is opened, rerouting I-70 over the river along a more northern alignment. I-44 is planned to take over the old I-70 alignment through the below-grade section of roadway in St. Louis, making the new eastern terminus being the interchange with I-70 near Cass Street.[2] The eastbound lanes of I-44 will meet the westbound lanes, and the eastbound lanes of I-70 will meet the westbound lanes of I-44.[2]

Business loops

All of Interstate 44's business loops are in Missouri. Most of these Business Loops were the former U.S. Route 66. Missouri also has the unusual occurrence of a business loop and business spur from the same interstate intersecting (the Waynesville-St. Robert loop and the Ft. Leonard Wood spur).

Exit list

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References

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Interstate 44
Previous state:
Oklahoma
Missouri Next state:
Terminus
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