What Branson travelers should know about the I-44/Route 65 Detour

“The rebuild ” will cause detours for the I-44/65 Branson exit.

“U.S. Highway (Route) 65 between Branson and I-44 will undergo major renovation during the spring and fall of 2017,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “A detour on I-44, at its intersection with Route 65, will impact Branson Travelers traveling north and south on Route 65 throughout the project,” he added.

Angela Eden, Senior Communications Specialist for the Southwest District of the Missouri Department of Transportation said that it’s a major $10.8 million project. It includes rebuilding the outside two lanes in each direction between Kearney and Sunshine Streets and other work.

While working on the lanes, Route 65 will be closed, one direction at a time, between Kearney and Sunshine Streets in Springfield. The south bound lanes will be open while the north bound lanes are under renovation and the reverse when the south bound lanes are being worked on. The official “signed detour” is I-44 to Route 360/60 (James River Freeway) at Exit #69 on I-44. Once on the James River Freeway, follow it east and exit onto Highway 65 south. Reverse the process when traveling to I-44 from Branson.

Garrison expects no impact for those traveling to and from the west on I-44. For them, “The James River Freeway,” at Exit 69, is an ideal route. Those coming from the east will have about 15 to 20 minutes added to one direction of their trip using the “signed detour.” Although there are alternative routes to the official “signed detour,” he advises their use only by those familiar with the area. Another advantage of the signed detour is it’s a clean shot from and to I-44 with no stop lights.

Andy Mueller, Assistant District Engineer for the Southwest District of the Missouri Department of Transportation said that once Route 65 “Closes” the contractor has up to 70 days to complete the repaving portion. Once construction starts on a lane they have 35 days to complete it. Route 65 must be open during the Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day holidays.

Work and lane closure schedules will not be available until mid-April to early May. Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison reminds Branson travelers that either the north or southbound lanes will always be open during construction. Conversely, whichever lanes are not open will be closed requiring use of the Detour.  The most current information on what lanes are open or closed will be available online at MoDot.Org. Signs on I-44 and Route 65 will also detail detour directions.

For more information, please feel free to call one of our Branson based Travel Planners at 1-866-593-9740. They’ll also answer questions about  Branson shows, hotels, and attractions. and help with making show, attraction, and lodging reservations. This can save you time and help to ensure that you get the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM.