The Paseo Bridge, the original suspension bridge carrying I-29/35 across the Missouri River in Kansas City, was built as part of a master plan to upgrade both the U.S. 71 and U.S. 69 corridors into freeways leading into Downtown Kansas City. The span was conceptualized in 1949 as part of a City Plan Commission study. It was constructed in 1951-1952 and dedicated as U.S. 69 Alternate in August 1954 as a toll facility.5 Toll collection was retired once the bonds were paid off.
Interstate 29 previously extended further in Downtown Kansas City, running along the north and west legs of the Alphabet Loop. Changes were proposed by Missouri to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on November 15, 1975, which conditionally approved a relocation of I-35 from the east and south legs of the Downtown loop to replace I-29. The south leg was also proposed to be redesignated as an extension of Interstate 670. AASHTO deferred action on that request, but approved the I-35 relocation on November 12, 1976.
The KcICON project10 upgraded 4.7 miles of I-29/35 from I-70 northward to Missouri Route 210 (Exit 6). The $245 million project included the replacement of the aging Paseo Bridge and revisions to interchanges with The Paseo, Front Street and Armour Road among others. Overall work ran from March 2008 to February 2011. The new cable-stayed span across the Missouri River, the Christopher S. Bond Bridge, was dedicated on September 27, 2010. Dismantling of the old bridge followed through 2011.
Construction along Interstate 29 in Missouri originated with soil work at the bridge site for Pigeon Creek south of St. Joseph by early 1957. The freeway was completed in the Show Me State on July 28, 1976, when an 18.7-mile portion of freeway opened in Atchison County. Total cost for the 125-mile route in Missouri was $112 million.8
Interstate 29 opened according to the following schedule (from south to north) in the state of Iowa:4
- Missouri State Line north to County Route J-64: August 31, 1973
- County Route J-64 to Iowa 2: December 15, 1972
- Iowa 2 to County Route J-18: December 1, 1972
- County Route J-18 to U.S. 34: December 10, 1971
- U.S. 34 to Iowa 370: December 4, 1971
- Iowa 370 to Iowa 192: December 22, 1969
- Iowa 192 to I-80 West/23rd Avenue: November 1, 1970
- I-80 West/23rd Avenue to 9th Avenue: November 10, 1971
- 9th Avenue to Iowa 192: October 25, 1968
- Iowa 192 to U.S. 30: November 26, 1958
- U.S. 30 to Iowa 175: December 7, 1967
- Iowa 175 to Iowa 141: October 26, 1961
- Iowa 141 to Business U.S. 75: November 28, 1959
- Business U.S. 75 to U.S. 20-77: July 15, 1960
- U.S. 20-77 to South Dakota State Line: October 1, 1958
Interstate 29 opened in stages through South Dakota between the late 1950s at Sioux Falls and 1982, when the segment between Exit 224 (Peever) and Exit 246 (New Effington) was completed.7 Within Sioux Falls a $33-million upgrade of I-29 was finished in September 2003. This road work involved the reconstruction of two substandard interchanges within the city:
- Exit 83 / SD 38 – The wye interchange with a left side ramp from southbound to SD 38 (Russell Street) was removed.
- Exit 82 / Benson Road – A Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) was constructed at Benson Road.
- Exit 81 / Maple Street – The half diamond interchange with Maple Street was upgraded into a six-ramp parclo interchange, offsetting the removal of ramps at the former wye to the north.
These projects were a part of an overall improvement and widening plan for Interstate 29 between Madison Street (Exit 73) and I-90 (Exit 84). The construction was the largest single road related project completed in the state at the time.2
The final section of Interstate 29 to be completed in North Dakota was the portion from Drayton to Pembina in 1977. With this completion, North Dakota became the first state to complete all sections of its Interstate system.6
Within the city of Fargo, upgrades to Interstate 29 included the addition of a third northbound lane through the interchange with I-94. This led to the Main Avenue interchange, where new loop ramps were constructed and the overpass for Main Avenue replaced. This work started in 2004 and ran in conjunction with 2005-07 widening of I-29 to six lanes from Main Avenue to 19th Avenue North.3