Major Highway Systems of Kansas City

To access the city of Kansas City and its greater metropolitan area located on the boundary between the states of Kansas and Missouri, one must use the many roads and highways that crisscross it. In this article we shall be describing these roads, giving a list of them as well as a short description about the road.

The Kansas City metropolitan area has more freeway lane miles per capita than any other large metropolitan area in the United States, over 50% more than the average American metro area, and nearly 75% more than the large metro area with the least: Las Vegas.

We shall discuss the largest out of the roads, Interstate freeways and US Routes. The former is what we shall talk about first out of the two.

The Kansas City area is a confluence of four major U.S. interstate highways:

  • I-29 – North to St. Joseph, Missouri
  • I-35 – North to Des Moines, Iowa and south to Wichita, Kansas
  • I-49 – South to Joplin
  • I-70 – East to St. Louis and west to Topeka, Kansas

Other interstates that cross through the area include:

  • I-435 – A bi-state loop through the city’s suburbs in Missouri and Kansas. It is the second-longest single-numbered beltway in the U.S., and the fourth-longest in the world.
  • I-470 – Connects South Kansas City with Lee’s Summit and Independence.
  • I-635 – Connects the Kansas suburbs with Kansas City, Kansas, and I-29, I-70, and I-35.
  • I-670 – A southern bypass of I-70 and the southern portion of the downtown loop. The roadway is designated on road signs as East I-70, when exiting from I-35 while traveling north.

Next up are US Routes, older than the Interstates, though in no way obsolete in any way.

U.S. Highways serving the Kansas City Metro Area include:

  • US 24 – Running from Independence Ave. and Winner Rd., between downtown Kansas City and Independence, Missouri, it serves as a street-level connection to Independence.
  • US 40 – U.S. 40 is one of six east-west U.S.-numbered routes that run (or ran) from coast to coast. It serves as a business loop and an alternate route for I-70.
  • US 50 – Enters the area in southern Johnson County, follows I-435 from the west to I-470, then splits off of I-470 in Lee’s Summit to continue eastward to Jefferson City and St. Louis as a regular highway. Its former route through Raytown and southeast Kansas City was renumbered as Route 350. U.S. 50 is also one of the six east-west highways that run coast-to-coast through the United States.
  • US-56 – Enters the area concurrent with I-35 until the Shawnee Mission Parkway exit. It runs east along the Parkway into the Plaza area of Kansas City before terminating at US-71.
  • US 69 – Connects Excelsior Springs, Missouri, in the north and serves as a freeway in the suburbs of Johnson County.
  • US 71 – In the north, concurrent with I-29 to Amazonia, Missouri, and serves as a freeway (Bruce R. Watkins Drive) south from downtown, joining with I-49 at the Grandview Triangle.
  • US 169 – Connects Smithville, Missouri, in the north.

Sports Teams of Kansas City