SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — I-44 will soon see improvements thanks to the recently passed state budget.
Something drivers say is needed.
“There are parts of it that are pretty rough that need improvement, new concrete or pavement,” driver Leslie Davis said.
OzarksFirst investigates found more money gets poured into highways 60 and 65 than I-44.
Even though more drivers are on those roads, I-44 sees more semi-trucks.
Some drivers believe that’s what’s hurting the interstate the most.
“Coming over here sometimes it’s a mess,” driver Dave Davis said, “Especially when the trucks are backed up on the shoulder.”
Drivers tell OzarksFirst they want to see more lanes and safer bridges along I-44.
“Pretty busy sometimes,” driver Corey McClelland said, “Obviously, during rush hour, it gets pretty congested. Also, it gets really congested around 13, where it meets up at Kansas Expressway. And it also gets really congested, kind of around 65 and 44.”
“I think the bridges are a long ways behind,” Dave Davis said, “I think we need to get caught up on them but they take an awful lot of money. The farther we get back on them, the worse it’s gonna be.”
The budget includes $28 million to spend on improving I-44 specifically.
With another $20 million for an environmental impact study that needs to be done before work on the interstate can get started.
Missouri Sen. Lincoln Hough said during budget talks one project can happen at the same time as construction is being done on another interstate.
“The idea there was that as the construction on I-70 is taking place over the next several years, the environmental work can be done on I-44,” Hough said.
OzarksFirst reached out to MoDOT for more information on what construction will look like for drivers, but they couldn’t give specifics at this time.