Beginning today, the former U.S. Highway 71, just south of Kansas City will be designated as Interstate 49.

Spokesman for the State Highway Patrol Tim Hull says the change to an interstate designation affects several important aspects of travel on this particular portion of the route for motorists and commercial vehicles especially.

Motorists should be aware of the law of changes because interstate highways have different laws than what a U.S. Highway might have as far as weight and speed limits.

“It should help with the flow and the increase of traffic going in and out of the Kansas City area from the South,” he says. “By doing so, it eliminates those side roads coming on there, which makes the roads safer.”

He says it also helps to keep the traffic moving at a constant speed. “Without having to slow down or watch traffic entering from a side road, there will still be entrance ramps and exit ramps,” he says.

Hull says as an interstate highway, it should promote a lot smoother flow of traffic into and out of Kansas City and must maintain a minimum speed limit of 40 miles per hour.


AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (:59)