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Parson celebrates completion of Missouri-Arkansas Connector 

Gov. Mike Parson joined Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to celebrate the completion of the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector, touting the project and the collaboration with the neighboring state. 

The connector encompasses the final five miles of the I-29 and I-49 corridor running from North Dakota to Louisiana. Parson joined Hutchinson for a ribbon-cutting along the state line Thursday.

“We thank our transportation partners here in Missouri and across the state line in Arkansas for completing this historic project and providing a vital connection for our communities,” Parson said. “From Kansas City to Fort Smith, travelers will have safe and efficient travel options. This high-quality roadway will help promote tourism, business investment, and workforce opportunities between our two great states.”

Parson said he hoped to pursue further infrastructure and workforce development projects with neighboring states, a sentiment he expressed last week when unveiling a national security partnership with Kansas

The first section of the corridor was built in Missouri, stretching from Kansas City to Pineville in McDonald County. It was dedicated in 2012. 

The entire corridor stretches across more than 1,600 miles of road, running through Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The Missouri-Arkansas Connector makes up 290 of those miles from Kansas City to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The project was partially funded by Missouri, with the Department of Transportation (MoDOT) completing the Missouri portion of the project through a grant awarded to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Council. MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna and his Arkansas counterpart joined the chief executives for the ceremony. 

“Arkansas, Missouri, and federal transportation officials have discussed the necessity of the I-49 Missouri-Arkansas Connector for more than 25 years,” McKenna said. “This success wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the hard work of our team, as well as the support from our legislators and federal officials through the years.”

The highway opens to the public Friday.