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Volume Four, Sixteen Interstate Highways That The DOT SHOULD Build: FOCUS: Interstate 29

As we all recall from last summer the Gulf Coast is prone to hurricanes; we all remember what happened to the devastated Baton Rouge-Mobile area.
But this alone is not the only justification for extending Interstate 29 from Kansas City Missouri to Mobile Alabama, as the Gulf Coast continues to grow, and the same holds true for the states in between those cities.
Traffic continues to rise along key segments of this corridor, most notably in Central Arkansas, where Interstate 530 has arrived to connect Pine Bluff to the capital Little Rock. And other parts of the corridor continue to see more and more traffic, like Missouri State Routes 7 and 13 which form the basis of the proposed I-29 to Springfield, where it connects at the I-44's Junction 69 and supplants the present MO360 then multiplexes with the James River Freeway (US60) across southern Springfield to US65 where it connects through to Branson and then into the Ozarks of central Arkansas then along the current I-530 into Greenville and Jackson MS before terminating at Mobile, thus connecting a major river port with a seaport and also connecting the Midwest more directly into the Southeast.
Now some folks question the need for putting the I-29 into Alabama when it is several longitudes east of even the I-45 and I-49 as well as even the I-55 and I-59. This is something you folks should have considered before planning to put the I-69 through to Tennessee, Arkansas, and Laredo TX...Admittedly the route is a bit out of place so you might as well make the best of it.
Considering that Southern states continue to grow, including Missouri and Arkansas, and for certain the traffic demands continue to grow, this would fit perfectly within the interregional highway infrastructure.
Additionally it serves as a shipping route for prawns freshly caught in the Gulf and will even ameliorate delivery to other areas of the South and Midwest. And then there is the hurricane evacuation factor: The route could easily evacuate not only southern Alabama but also southern Mississippi in fairly short order.
Another sticking point in the Springfield area is the railway crossing that cuts through the cloverleaf at the junction of US60 and US65. That rail line is little-used anyway and can easily be replaced with an overcrossing set at a height of about 18 to 20 feet.
Also a flyover for the I-29 north from Branson to Springfield will be needed. And neither MO123 nor MO7 nor MO13 need be replaced even where the I-29 is routed; even MO291 can remain in place even if there is a lot of multiplexing as there will be with US65 between Springfield and Little Rock.

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And though it will appear unusual to place a multiplex on the I-40 between Conway and Little Rock one needs to understand that that corridor will not only become part of a major Gulf-Midwest corridor especially as ethanol and other biofuels become better developed as an industry in the USA but also this will pave the way for additional 3dis in that region including one that could bypass Little Rock altogether.
And the Jackson area will also be fairly well served by this route as their population continues to grow.
But in the end the I-29 certainly could use an extension to the Gulf and will further solve transport throughout the Southeast.


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