by Carol Harris, Branson area, and Marti Attoun, Joplin area
A ground-breaking ceremony for Missouri Route 249, also known as the Range Line Bypass, in Joplin, was held Jan. 15.
The first two segments of the bypass will include an interchange at Interstate 44, a four-lane highway from the interstate to just south of 20th Street, then a two-lane section between 20th and Seventh streets. Snyder Construction Co., Joplin, is the contractor for the $7.6 million project.
Eventually, the bypass will stretch 5.8 miles from Business Route 71 at Carterville to the interchange of Interstate 44 and Missouri Highway 71. The total cost is estimated at $33.8 million.
Joplin Mayor Earl Carr said the project will provide a high-speed connection from the northern metro area that is Carl Junction, Webb City and Carterville to Interstate 44 and Route 71.
"The goal is to remove the through traffic and trucks from Range Line in Joplin and Madison Street in Webb City, thereby providing additional capacity for those who want to shop and conduct business along Range Line and Madison," Carr said.
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.