The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 14, 2013

Ceremony marks opening of new Joplin interchange

By Debby Woodin

JOPLIN, Mo. — Local, state and county officials celebrated Friday the completion of a Joplin street project that began 15 years ago.

The opening of the $10 million interchange at North Main and Zora streets was observed at a 2 p.m. ceremony with speeches and a ribbon cutting by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a project that will make traffic flow more smoothly and safer because of the separation of grades and the closure of a railroad crossing” that has been the location of a number of accidents, said Becky Baltz, District 7 engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean said the project was one example of the results that can be achieved when residents and representatives of all levels of government work together. She said voters passed the city’s capital improvements sales tax that allowed the city to save up its $3.2 million share of the cost. The federal government provided $5.8 million and the state $1 million. Main Street also is designated as Missouri Highway 43.

Construction started in February 2012. The interchange opened Thursday to traffic.

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