US 40 and 54 in Missouri

US 40 in Missouri

US 40
Get started Kansas City
End St. Louis
Length 255 mi
Length 410 km

Kansas City









St. Louis


According to watchtutorials, US 40 is a US Highway in the US state of Missouri. The road forms an east-west route through the center of the state and is largely double -numbered with Interstate 70. The road runs from Kansas City to St. Louis and is 410 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The road is mostly double numbered with I-70 and I-64. See Interstate 64 in Missouri and Interstate 70 in Missouri for the main topic.

The road separates from I-70 or I-64 in two spots;

  • between Exit 7 and Exit 24 through Kansas City and Independence, US 40 forms the Corporal Michael E. Webster Memorial Parkway.
  • between Exit 101 and Exit 121, US 40 parallels I-70 through Boonville with a bridge over the Missouri


In the early years of vehicular traffic, in 1918 a slightly more northerly route via Richmond, Carrollton, Moberly and Mexico was advertised as the “path of least resistance” for traffic between Kansas City and St. Louis. This was an early auto trail. Today these are several state routes. The advantage of this route was that it remained entirely north of the Missouri River, while the later US 40 crossed it at Boonville with a bridge built in 1924.

According to Citypopulationreview, US 40 was created in 1926. In 1932, the Daniel Boone Bridge opened over the Missouri River west of St. Louis. US 40 has been almost completely replaced by the construction of Interstate 70. The first part of this opened in 1958 just west of St. Louis. In 1967, the last stretch, the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis, opened. US 40 was also built through the western suburbs of St. Louis in the 1960s, but this section was renumbered as I-64 from 1988, making US 40 secondary. By 2009, the conversion from US 40 to I-70 at Wentzville was completed, and this entire stretch was renumbered I-64.

Express Highway in St. Louis

In St. Louis, the so-called ‘Express Highway’ was the predecessor of US 40 and I-64. This was the first highway-like road connection in the city. At the time, the city had more than 800,000 inhabitants. The original Express Highway was a 6-kilometer stretch of 2×2 lanes with grade separated intersections between Market Street near Downtown St. Louis and Clayton Road. On July 19, 1937, the first section opened between Vandeventer Avenue and Kingshighway Boulevard. The road was sunken and had a narrow profile. This was actually not a full-fledged highway. The speed limit was 30 mph until 1938, then 45 mph. The Express Highway was renamed the Red Feather Highway in 1948. In 1959, the Red Feather Highway was connected in the west to the new highway to the Daniel Boone Bridge west of St. Louis. Virtually nothing remains of the original ‘Express Highway’, the road was upgraded to a full-fledged freeway in the 1960s.

Traffic intensities

The section parallel to I-70 in Kansas City has 12,000 to 20,500 vehicles and 7,500 vehicles just at the end.

The section through Boonville has 6,500 vehicles and 2,000 vehicles further east.

US 54 in Missouri

US 54
Begin Deerfield
End Louisiana
Length 280 mi
Length 450 km


Eldorado Springs



Jefferson City



Bowling Green



US 54 is a US Highway in the US state of Missouri. The road forms an east-west route through the center of the state, from the Kansas border at Deerfield through the state capital Jefferson City to the Illinois border at Louisiana. Except for the part around Jefferson City, the road largely has a secondary function. The road is 450 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The interchange between US 50, US 54, and US 63 in Jefferson City.

The Champ Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River near Louisiana, Missouri.

US 54 between Jefferson City and Fulton.

At Deerfield, US 54 in Kansas enters the state of Missouri from Fort Scott and then continues for 15 miles to Nevada, a town on US 71. The area is still fairly flat at first, but becomes hillier towards the east with more forest. The road is single-lane and runs through an agricultural area, quite far from major cities. Collins crosses SR-13, a main route from Springfield to Richmond. The road passes through the Ozark Mountains, the largest mountain region in the central United States. At Preston you cross the US 65.

The route then goes more to the northeast, through hilly and wooded area, through an area with many reservoirs, of which the Harry S. Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks are the largest. From Roach the road has 2×2 lanes and passes through a large nature reserve. The road crosses several tributaries of the Lake of the Ozarks, a winding reservoir. The road passes the town of Eldon and after a while reaches the capital Jefferson City. The city is not that big but it is the main hub in central Missouri.

US 54 is a 2×2 lane highway through Jefferson City. At the center you cross US 50 and US 63. One crosses the Missouri River here and US 54 then runs as a highway past Fulton to Interstate 70. US 54 is a 2×2 divided highway until the town of Mexico, then narrows to a single lane and runs through northeast Missouri. This area is initially undulating, but then becomes flatter with much less forest and many meadows. The road continues to Bowling Green where it intersects with 2×2 US 61. Then you come through the hills around the Mississippi River and the road descends to Louisiana, after which the US 54 in Illinoiscrosses the Mississippi River and proceeds to Griggsville to terminate at Interstate 72.


US 54 was created in 1926. The route has not changed substantially in Missouri since then. The US 54 is somewhat secondary in character in Missouri, and only serves the capital Jefferson City. In 1928 the Champ Clark Bridge opened over the Mississippi River near Louisiana. In August 1955, the first Jefferson City Bridge opened over the Missouri River. In 1991 an identical but slightly wider second span opened.

Traffic intensities

Every day, 3,500 vehicles cross the border into Kansas, which remains low with 1,500 to 3,000 vehicles due to the Ozark Mountains. The area around the Lake of the Ozarks is a bit busier with up to 30,000 vehicles at Osage Beach. 15,000 vehicles pass through Jefferson City and 49,500 vehicles cross the Missouri River daily. Up to I-70 there are 12,000 vehicles, after that about 3,500 vehicles. Some 3,800 vehicles cross the Illinois border every day.

US 54 in Missouri