I-44 now open from Springfield to Exit 11 in Joplin

Interstate 44 West/Oklahoma Will Rogers Turnpike remains closed due to winter road conditions, but I-44 has opened from Springfield to Exit 11, Joplin.

Motorists heading westbound must exit I-44 at Exit 11 (Route FF/32nd Street), Joplin. The detour route for motorists heading west is: US 71 south to I-540/Arkansas, then west into Oklahoma on I-40 (heading to Oklahoma City) or US 412 (heading into Tulsa.)

All routes are still considered snow packed. Motorists should not take U.S. 60 West and expect to use I-44 in Oklahoma. The turnpike is closed by large drifts of snow. I-44 in Missouri remains closed from Exit 11 west to the Oklahoma state line.

Interstate 70 from St. Louis to Kansas City re-opened at 7 a.m. this morning. Motorists are urged to be extremely cautious if they choose to drive. MoDOT and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are still asking Missourians to limit travel as much as possible because roadways throughout the state, with the exception of the southeast corner, remain either covered or partly covered with snow, making for potentially dangerous travel conditions.

In addition, heavy winds throughout most of the state are continuing to blow snow around, causing snow to drift and hindering snow removal efforts.

MoDOT crews continue to be out in full force plowing state highways, with the goal of stabilizing the major roadways as soon as possible and turning attention to numbered and lettered routes during the course of the day today. The department has been working with the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri Highway Patrol to assist stranded motorists.

“We appreciate the cooperation we’ve seen from motorists,” Don Hillis, MoDOT’s director of system management, stated in a news release. “Travel throughout the state has been lighter, which has helped us be able to get out there and do our job. We ask for the same consideration today, so we can work to get the roads clear and safe for travel.”

“The Missouri State Highway Patrol and MoDOT want to emphasize to the public that highways are still snow covered and that there are icy patches. Motorists should still not travel if it can be avoided,” Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, stated in the release. “Also, remember that many other roads around the state are still not passable.”

For more information, motorists can get the latest road conditions from MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map located at /www.modot.org. Travelers can also call MoDOT’s toll-free number, (888) 275-6636, to get road condition information.