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Interstate 470 Missouri


Interstate 470 in Missouri connects southern Kansas City with Independence, providing a bypass of the Kansas City metropolitan area to the southeast and a commuter route to Lee's Summit. The freeway overlaps with U.S. 50 from the Three Trails Crossing interchange with I-49 and I-435 to Exits 7A/B and doubles as Missouri 291 on its north-south section between Exits 10 and 16. Old U.S. 50 is now designated Missouri 350 between Interstate 470 and Interstate 435 through Raytown and Kansas City.


The state of Missouri submitted Interstate 170, a connector between I-435 and I-70 southeast of Kansas City, as part of the Urban Route Numbering proposals to AASHO on July 31, 1958. The route was changed to Interstate 470 since it constituted a loop and approved by AASHO on November 10, 1958.1

The alignment of Intestate 470 appeared on the Missouri Official Highway Map by 1964 from the Grandview Triangle Interchange with U.S. 71 and I-435 east to then-Bypass U.S. 71 north of Lee's Summit. U.S. 71 Bypass ran north from U.S. 50 to U.S. 40 as part of the planned route. Missouri 291 replaced U.S. 71 Bypass by 1975, with a short stretch of expressway completed by 1969 from south of U.S. 40 to 39th Street. The 1983-84 Missouri Official Highway Map shows the Interstate fully opened to traffic.

A $46-million project between 2006 and June 2010 improved the junction of Interstate 470 with U.S. 50 leading east and Missouri 350 in Lee's Summit. A new split-diamond interchange with Pryor Road and Blue Parkway frames the cloverleaf interchange with the U.S. 50 freeway leading south through Lee's Summit. The new ramps provide local access to the Summit Woods and Summit Fair retail area, reducing traffic on U.S. 50 to the adjacent Chipman Road exit.2

A new diamond interchange opened to traffic along I-470 at Strother Road on August 19, 2010. The $15-million project extended Strother Road and provides additional access to industrial park areas served by Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (LXT).3

Western Terminus - Interstate 435 - southern Kansas City, Missouri
Perspective from Interstate 470 west
End Interstate 470 overhead at Exit 1A (Junction U.S. 71). U.S. 71 enters from the south and continues through the Interstate 435 interchange toward downtown Kansas City. U.S. 50 is cosigned with Interstate 470 from the East, and it continues on westward along Interstate 435 west of the terminus of Interstate 470. Photo taken by Ben Prusia.
Perspective from U.S. 71 north
U.S. 71 North at the Hickman Mills exit, 1.25 miles south of Interstate 435 and the western terminus of Interstate 470. The confluence of the three highways creates traffic headaches due to the fact that Interstate 470 and U.S. 71 merge together before reaching Interstate 435. A major reconstruction project is underway to redesign the junction. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
U.S. 71 North approaching the Interstate 435 West/Interstate 470 East exit. The crane in the background is for the reconstruction of the Grandview Triangle, the name for the interchange of U.S. 71, and Interstates 435 and 470. U.S. 50 travels unceremoniously from Interstate 435 east to Interstate 470 east. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
Traffic for Interstate 470 east or Interstate 435 west (and U.S. 50 in both cases) departs to the right. U.S. 71 meanwhile presses northward towards downtown Kansas City and the Interstate 435 northbound ramp. The eastern suburb of Lee's Summit is included as the Interstate 470 eastbound control city. That is the location where U.S. 50 leaves the Interstate system. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
Although in the distance, the split of the exit ramp to Interstate 435 West and Interstate 470 East is there. The Zone 8 signage indicates what zone of the Triangle motorists are located. The Triangle is divided into zones to assist law enforcement when an accident occurs. Signs approaching the interchanges display Entering Triangle. and explain the zones a little better. Most motorists in the Kansas City area try to avoid the triangle because of its unusual nature. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
Perspective from Interstate 435 east
Located just east of the state line, this mileage sign is the first indication that Interstate 470 is approaching. U.S. 71 however, is omitted from this particular sign. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
U.S. 71 debuts to Interstate 435 motorists in this upcoming exits sign. The western terminus of Interstate 470 is now 2.75 miles to the east. Now U.S. 50 plays missing roulette, as the US route leaves Interstate 435 for Interstate 470. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
The second Kansas City, Missouri interchange of Interstate 435 eastbound is that of Exit 74 with Holmes Road. Exit 71A/B guide signage debuts for Interstate 470 east and U.S. 71, two miles out of the Grandview Triangle. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
Located about a mile west of the Grandview Triangle, this advance signage begins to alert motorists of the exit only lanes. U.S. 50 finally emerges from obscurity for Exit 71A. No control points are present for any signs. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
A similar sign bridge to that of the above photograph, one-half mile to the west of Exit 71A/B. U.S. 71 is a main thoroughfare between downtown Kansas City and Grandview. Longer range plans see the highway upgrading to Interstate 49 between Kansas City and Joplin at Interstate 44. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
Interstate 435 begins its northerly turn at the Grandview Triangle. To the right is the departure for Exits 71A to Interstate 470/U.S. 50 east and U.S. 71 south. The suburbs of Grandview, Belton, Lees Summit, and Independence are served by this exit. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
Proceeding onto Exit 71A for Interstate 470/U.S. 50 eastbound sees the departure of traffic for U.S. 71 south. The Interstate 470 exit numbering scheme thus begins as the ramp for U.S. 71 south is now Exit 1A. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (11/30/02).
This Interstate 435 eastbound photograph shows that originally only one lane was allocated for Interstate 470 east. These original signs include an Interstate 470 in full button copy and older style U.S. 71 shields. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1984).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 70 - Independence, Missouri
Perspective from Interstate 470 north
This is the last shield for Interstate 470 northbound. Photo taken 10/17/04.
The first indication that Interstate 470 is about to end. The terminus interchange is just one mile to the north. The interchange with U.S. 40 is actually separate from Interstate 70 at this point, located just to the south of the freeway. Photo taken 10/17/04.
In this valley, Interstate 470 northbound meets U.S. 40 and Interstate 70, where the Interstate ends. Missouri 291 continues north of the cloverleaf interchange as a freeway. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Interstate 470 ends in one-half mile sign bridge on northbound at Exit 16A for U.S. 40. Like U.S. 69 with Interstate 35, U.S. 40 intertwines and overlaps in stages with Interstate 70 through the Kansas City area. This sign bridge is also the first indication that Interstate 470 transitions to Missouri 291 to the north of Interstate 70. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Interstate 470 northbound reaches Exit 16B, Junction Interstate 70 east. St. Louis is a 227-mile drive across the Show-Me State to the east. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Interstate 470 Ends sign, posted just past Exit 16A for Interstate 70 east. Traffic continuing northward transition to an at-grade divided highway as Missouri 291. The state highway connects Independence with Liberty and Interstate 35 to the north of the Missouri River. Photo taken 10/17/04.
The final exit of Interstate 470 is the cloverleaf ramp to Interstate 70 west/Exit 16C. Interstate 70 enters the city limits of Kansas City in five miles and downtown in 14 miles. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Missouri 291 is signed solely after Exit 16C. The freeway continues briefly, then reverts to a signalized expressway. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Perspective from Interstate 470 south
Now looking southbound, Interstate 470 begins as Missouri 291 crosses over Interstate 70 at this cloverleaf interchange. The first connection is with eastbound Interstate 470. Photo taken 10/17/04.
The first exit along southbound is with U.S. 40 (Exit 16A). Photo taken 10/17/04.
Interstate 470 and Missouri 291 are cosigned through the north-south section of Interstate 470. This is the first shield assembly on southbound. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Perspective from Interstate 70 west
Since Interstate 70 is already within the limits of Independence, the Missouri 291 northbound control point features the northeast suburb of Liberty. Interstate 470/Missouri 291 southbound sees Lee's Summit as the destination of choice. That is the location where U.S. 50 merges in from the east. Photo taken 10/17/04.
After the two-mile advance sign, there is an intervening exit with Little Blue Parkway (39th Street) at Exit 17. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Interstate 70 one mile before the northern terminus of Interstate 470 and Missouri 291/Exits 15A/B. Missouri 291 continues southward with Interstate 470 to Exit 10A/B at Lee's Summit. The state route eventually intersects U.S. 71 near the Cass County seat of Harrisonville, 29 miles to the south. Photo taken 10/17/04.
The first ramp connects to northbound Missouri 291, while the second ramp connects to southbound Interstate 470. Photo taken 10/17/04.
Westbound Interstate 70 at Exit 15A, the cloverleaf ramp to Interstate 470/Missouri 291 southbound. The next Interstate junction of Interstate 70 occurs in eight miles with the Kansas City Beltway/Interstate 435. Photo taken 10/17/04.


  1. Interstate system route numbering web site, Stephen Summers.
  2. "I-470 interchange in Lee's Summit is done." The Kansas City Star, June 30, 2010.
  3. "Ceremony to open new interchange at I-470 and Strother Road in Lee's Summit." The Kansas City Star, August 19, 2010.

Page Updated July 15, 2015.

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State Missouri
Mileage 16.72
Cities Kansas City, Lees Summit, Independence
Junctions Interstate 435, Interstate 70
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
A short stretch of freeway was open at Independence for U.S. 71 Bypass by 1968. This was incorporated as the north end of I-470.
U.S. 71 Bypass provided a surface route bypass of the Kansas City area. The designation was renumbered as Missouri 291 by 1972. It ran from Harrisonville north to Lee's Summit, Liberty, Nashua and U.S. 71, six miles southeast of Platte City.
A shield for Interstate 470 appeared on the Rand McNally North American Road Atlas first in 1976.
1960s and 1970s era maps showed Interstate 470 proposed in a more northeasterly alignment than what was ultimately constructed over Missouri 291.
The 1981 Rand McNally North American Road Atlas showed Interstate 470 open from the Grandview Triangle east to Missouri 350 at Lee's Summit.
U.S. 50 was relocated onto Interstates 470 and 435, bypassing Kansas City, when the east-west section of I-470 opened. U.S. 50 previously followed Blue Parkway northwest to Swope Parkway, where it combined with U.S. 56 west to Interstate 35 at Merriam, Kansas.