SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Relief may be in sight for Springfield drivers who are frustrated with congestion along Interstate 44, especially at the Kansas Expressway interchange.
City leaders are hoping to widen I44 to six lanes in Springfield. They also want to replace the country’s first diverging diamond. They explained Springfield has outgrown this area of town.
A plan to fix it will cost $120 million.
Ozarks Transportation Organization is finalizing an application that would secure half that amount for the project.
“So we measure the amount of traffic and it’s increasing every year,” explained Sara Fields, the Executive Director of Ozarks Transportation Organization. “So we know that it’s time to add more capacity to that road because it’s full basically.”
When it comes to replacing the interchange at Kansas Expressway and I44, Fields says the diverging diamond that was put in place in 2009 just isn’t working anymore.
“Speaking for MODOT that at the time that was a really good solution with the traffic patterns that were in place. Since then, the traffic patterns have shifted,” Fields said. “So there’s quite a bit more through traffic at that interchange, which and there’s just not enough capacity now.”
Fields said the other $50 million in funding for the project would likely come from state and federal sources, along with help from the City of Springfield and the Greene County Commission.
The project would also replace six bridges that pass over I44 and would add concrete barriers to the median.
If MoDOT can secure the funding, crews could break ground in 2025.