JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A proposed scenic byway will take drivers from St. Louis through the Missouri Ozarks region and provide access to more than 150 recreational sites along the way.
The 375-mile Ozark Run Scenic Byway will run from St. Louis south to the St. Francois Mountains, across the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, westward past the manmade Bull Shoals Lake, and ending near Branson.
No new road construction is required or involved with the proposal. If approved, MoDOT would install signage along the byway to indicate to drivers that they are traveling the Ozark Run.
The proposal involves six routes (Missouri Routes 21, 185, 106, and 19; and U.S. Routes 63 and 160) across 11 counties (St. Louis, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Iron, Reynolds, Shannon, Oregon, Howell, Ozark, and Taney counties) and eight incorporated towns (Hillsboro, Sullivan, Caledonia, Centerville, Ellington, Eminence, Alton, and Forsyth).
The byway would be comprised of five legs or “sprints” in Missouri: the Gateway Sprint, the Meramec Sprint, the St. Francois Sprint, the Riverways Sprint, and the Heritage Sprint.
The organization behind the proposed byway, Scenic Missouri, has sent its application to the state and dozens of local governments along the route. Each governmental agency will receive a “written notice of intent” requesting a public meeting within the next 30 days.
The application requires unanimous approval from local governments before it moves to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, meaning it’s an all-or-nothing proposal.
You can read the 102-page Ozark Run application below.