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Interstate 55 South - Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

Interstate 55 south
Exit 117 is the first of nine interchanges along Interstate 55 in Cape Girardeau County. Joining the freeway ahead is Highway KK leading east to U.S. 61 at Old Appleton. Photo taken 04/13/13.
West from the diamond interchange (Exit 117) with I-55, Highway KK travels 17.51 miles overall between U.S. 61 and Missouri 51. The rural highway connects the settlements of Arnsberg, Friedheim, Hilderbrand and Lixville. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 bee lines another six miles to Highway E while Memphis is nearly a three hour drive to the south. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Exit 111 with Highway E was planned in 1969 but not constructed for another three decades. Having opened October 9, 2001 at a cost of $2.38-million, the new exit interrupted the longest exit less stretch of I-55 in Missouri.1 The half-cloverleaf interchange provides access to the villages of Oak Ridge to the west and Pocahontas to the east. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Southbound at the Exit 111 off-ramp to Highway E. Highway E entails just 6.29 miles west to Highway B beyond Oak Ridge and east to U.S. 61 at County Road 530. Photo taken 04/13/13.
The first of two rest areas along I-55 south in Missouri resides just south of Highway E. Photo taken 04/13/13.
U.S. 61 crosses paths with Interstate 55 for the first time since Exit 170 in five miles. Memphis remains 189 miles to the south. Photo taken 04/13/13.

County Road 433 appears along side Interstate 55 by this reassurance marker preceding the rest area. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Rest areas serve travelers in both directions of Interstate 55 in Cape Girardeau County. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Passing under Highway FF near Fruitland, Interstate 55 nears the exchange with U.S. 61 south into the city of Jackson. Exit 105 represents the north end of the 15.79-mile long Business Loop I-55. The business route coincides with U.S. 61 through both Jackson and Cape Girardeau. Photo taken 04/13/13.
A diamond interchange joins Interstate 55 south with U.S. 61 north to MO 177 east and Fruitland and Business Loop I-55 & U.S. 61 south to High Street and Downtown Jackson. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 stays east of Jackson, straddling portions of the city limits through to Exit 99. Photo taken 04/13/13.
U.S. 61 & Missouri 34 represents the next entry on southbound mileage signs for Cape Girardeau in five miles. Forthcoming Exit 102 was constructed as part of a $10.8-million project linking East Main Street in Jackson with La Salle Avenue north of Cape Girardeau.2 The interchange opened in late 2007. Photo taken 04/13/13.
East Main Street was extended from Oak Hill Road in Jackson to Exit 102 on December 17, 2007. The project opens up land for development, much of which is owned by Southeast Missouri State University. Work on the overall project commenced in September 2006.3 Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 south formally enters the northern most portions of Cape Girardeau just ahead of the diamond interchange (Exit 102) with East Main Street west and La Salle Avenue east. The extension of La Salle Avenue was west from Highway W completed in September 2009.4 Photo taken 04/13/13.
Approaching both Williams Creek and the County Road 306 overpass along Interstate 55 south of Exit 102. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Missouri 34 joins U.S. 61 & Business Loop I-55 southeast from Hope Street and the joint terminus of Missouri 25 north and 72 east in Jackson. The trio meet Interstate 55 at a split-diamond interchange (Exit 99) in one mile. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Business Loop I-55, U.S. 61 & Missouri 34 continue east along Kingshighway through Cape Girardeau. MO 34 splits with the business route for Shawnee Parkway (MO 74) east to the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge across the Mississippi River. A 103.50-mile route, Missouri 34 travels between MO 49 at Piedmont and IL 146 near East Cape Girardeau, Illinois. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Taking the Exit 99 off-ramp to Business Loop I-55, U.S. 61 and Missouri 34. Missouri 34 joins Jackson with Marble Hill to the west. Photo taken 04/13/13.
A short connector crosses Business Loop I-55 & U.S. 61 north for Kingshighway south into Cape Girardeau. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 straddles western reaches of Cape Girardeau for the next six miles. Photo taken 04/13/13.
The next mileage sign outlines the distances for the return of U.S. 61 (Business Loop I-55) south in five miles and uses Blytheville, Arkansas in place of Memphis, Tennessee. Two additional Cape Girardeau interchanges precede the interchange complex with U.S. 61 & MO 74. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Highway K joins Interstate 55 with the commercialized west side of Cape Girardeau in one mile. Anchored by Westpark Mall, the retail area lines both sides of I-55 through to Exit 95. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Southbound I-55 at the Exit 96 diamond interchange with Highway K (William Street). Highway K comprises a 6.56-mile route east to U.S. 61 & MO 34 (Kingshighway) and west to MO 25 near Gordonville. William Street east from Kingshighway to Sprigg Street is the former alignment of MO 34. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Big box retail lines parallel Siemers Drive to the west while office parks front the east side of I-55 by Mt. Auburn Road. Photo taken 04/13/13.
One mile north of the partial-cloverleaf interchange with Missouri 74 (Shawnee Parkway) east on I-55 south. 1.7-miles of Shawnee Parkway opened to traffic in February 1996 between Business Loop I-55 & U.S. 61 (Kingshighway) and Sprigg Street (former MO 74). The remaining 1.1-mile section of new Missouri 74 west to Exit 95 opened to traffic on October 17, 1997. The $29.2-million Shawnee Parkway was named after the adjacent Shawnee Park Sports Complex.5 Photo taken 04/13/13.
Bloomfield Road spans Interstate 55 south at a mileage sign posted 173 miles north of Memphis. The sign specifications predate the opening of Exit 95 with Missouri 74 east to the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Missouri 74 was relocated from an overlap with U.S. 61 (Kingshighway) north to Southern Expressway east and Sprigg Street north when the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge opened to traffic on December 13, 2003. The $100-million span replaced a two-lane truss bridge to the north. The 4,000-foot long cable-stayed bridge carries four lanes of traffic, linking Missouri 34 & 74 with Illinois 146 east to IL 3.6 Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 south & Missouri 74 west
Missouri 74 branches west from Interstate 55 south to conclude a 10.57-mile route at Missouri 25 and Highway A at Dutchtown. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Reassurance shields posted for the short overlap between Interstate 55 south & Missouri 74 west. The state highway shifted to the freeway when Shawnee Parkway opened to traffic. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Scott City is the next destination of Interstate 55 south from Cape Girardeau. New Madrid, 50 miles away, appears on mileage signs in place of Sikeston, Blytheville or Memphis. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Exit 93 leads away from I-55 south for the continuation of Missouri 74 west to Dutchtown. A wye ties into the partial-cloverleaf interchange, bringing U.S. 61 south onto the freeway and concluding Business Loop I-55. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 & U.S. 61 south
U.S. 61 and the Great River Road accompany Interstate 55 south to Scott City. The overlap spans a Burlington Northern Railroad line just beyond their merge near Black Land Bottom. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Highway AB, a 9.57-mile route west to Missouri 25 and 77 at Blomeyer and east to Highway K at SEMO Port (Southeast Missouri Regional Port), meets I-55 & U.S. 61 in one mile. Photo taken 04/13/13.
The southbound freeway spans the Headwater Diversion Channel ahead of the Exit 91 diamond interchange. Highway AB connects I-55 & U.S. 61 with Airport Road south to Cape Girardeau Regional Airport (CGI) nearby. Photo taken 04/13/13.
27.25 miles of Interstate 55 south through Cape Girardeau County end as Highway AB lines the Scott County line through Exit 91. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Traveling along side Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Interstate 55 and U.S. 61 prepare to part ways at the forthcoming folded-diamond interchange (Exit 89). Exit 89 connects the pair with HIghway M west to Chaffee and Highway K (Main Street) east to Downtown Scott City. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Crossing Ramsey Creek, U.S. 61 partitions with I-55 south for Exit 89 and Main Street. The route dog legs east to a loop ramp spanning the adjacent Union Pacific Railroad en route to Kelso and Benton. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 south
Benton, the Scott County seat, is nine miles to the south. Sikeston, the largest city along I-55 south to Blytheville, AR follows in 22 miles. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 undulates across forested hills between level farmland abutting Ramsey Creek for several miles before rising to 550 feet in elevation near milepost 83. This stretch of freeway was completed in 1962. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Highway E angles northeast from Benton to Commerce, following a bluff to Powers Island. Interstate 55 drops nearly 100 feet in elevation from the bluff to an agricultural plain. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Missouri 77, which started in Jackson west of Exit 99, finally crosses paths with Interstate 55 at Exit 80 near Benton. The 69.38-mile route shares a wrong-way overlap with U.S. 61 from Morley to Benton before resuming a southward course east of I-55, 12 miles to Diehlstadt. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Exit 80 constitutes a diamond interchange with Missouri 77, 1.6 miles east of U.S. 61 (Winchester Street) in Benton. Missouri 77 joins U.S. 62 east from south of Diehlstadt to Charleston and Wilson City before turning south to end at the Dorena-Hickman Ferry landing. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 55 leads due south by Blodgett on an 11-mile exit less stretch. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Sikeston, served by three exits along I-55 south, lies 12 miles to the south. New Madrid, county seat of New Madrid County, is a half hour away while Blytheville, Arkansas is 85 miles out. Photo taken 04/13/13.
The approaching diamond interchange (Exit 69) with Highway HH opened to traffic in 1998. Highway HH runs west from I-55 through the northern outskirts of Miner and Sikeston. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Highway HH links Interstate 55 with U.S. 61 to the west as part of its 4.42-mile route. County Road 538 ties into the interchange from rural areas of Miner to the east. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Continuing south through the city of Miner, Interstate 55 parallels Highway H and Interstate Drive by an industrial park area. Photo taken 04/13/13.
U.S. 62 (Malone Avenue) parallels a Union Pacific Railroad west to Downtown Sikeston and east from Miner to the city of Bertrand. A folded-diamond interchange (Exit 67) joins the route with I-55 in one mile. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Exit 67 loops away from I-55 south for U.S. 62 (Malone Avenue) in Miner. Malone Avenue constitutes a commercial boulevard west to Sikeston Memorial Airport (SIK) and the U.S. 62 turn onto Main Street (U.S. 61) south. East of Miner, U.S. 62 parallels Interstate 57 through Bertrand and Charleston to combine with U.S. 60 east through Wilson City, Birds Point and Cairo, Illinois. Photo taken 04/13/13.
U.S. 60 overlaps with Interstate 57 west from Charleston to the freeway end at Exits 66B/A in 0.75 miles. I-57 leads north from Charleston to Marion, Mount Vernon and Effingham, Illinois as part of a regional route joining Chicago with Memphis, Tennessee. Photo taken 04/13/13.
U.S. 60 advances beyond the I-57 end to bypass Sikeston along an expressway west 23 miles to Dexter. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Exit 60B to U.S. 60 west provides a third route to Sikeston from Interstate 55 south. The U.S. 60 expressway meets U.S. 61 & 62 (South Main Street) in 2.8 miles. Charleston, the seat of adjacent Mississippi County, is ten miles to the east via Exit 60A. Photo taken 04/13/13.
All of U.S. 60 across southern Missouri, except for the stretch west from Monet, carries at least four overall lanes. Poplar Bluff lies 50 miles to the west along U.S. 50 Business. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Exit 66B departs Interstate 55 south to U.S. 60 west to Dexter and Poplar Bluff. U.S. 60 reaches Springfield in 229 miles.
Exit 66A leaves next for Interstate 57 north & U.S. 60 east to Charleston and Cairo, Illinois. Photo taken 04/13/13.
Interstate 57 initially leads east before turning north across the June 1978-opened Mississippi River bridge toward Mound City, Illinois. The 386-mile route generally serves rural areas and smaller cities on the drive north to Kankakee and the south side of Chicago. Photo taken 04/13/13.
This Exit 66A guide sign was replaced after September 2012. A conventional gore point sign is now posted here. U.S. 60 east from I-57 in Charleston continues to Cairo, Illinois and La Center and Paducah, Kentucky. Photo taken 06/01/11.
The New Madrid County line crosses southern reaches of the full-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 57 north and U.S. 60. I-55 totaled 26.13 miles through Scott County. Photo taken 04/13/13.

Sources:

  1. "I-55 Oak Ridge interchange opens to delight of drivers." Southeast Missourian, October 11, 2001.
  2. "I-55 project 'biggest opportunity' for retail since mall, Cape mayor says." Southeast Missourian, February 25, 2007.
  3. "Jackson's East Main to open Dec. 17; I-55 ramp may be later." Southeast Missourian, December 4, 2007.
  4. "LaSalle Avenue in Cape close to opening." Southeast Missourian, September 2, 2009.
  5. "Bridge highway dedicated, now open." Southeast Missourian, October 18, 1997.
  6. Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, MoDOT.
Photo Credits:
2011-06-01, 2013-04-13 by AARoads

Connect with:
Business Loop I-55 - Cape Girardeau-Jackson

Page Updated 11-18-2013.

 
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