Missouri Route M (Jefferson County)

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Route M

Route M highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MoDOT
Length7.478 mi[1] (12.035 km)
Existedc. 1953–present
Major junctions
West end Route 21 / Route MM near Otto
Major intersections I-55 near Barnhart
East end US 61 / US 67 near Barnhart
CountryUnited States
Highway system

Route M is a short arterial highway in Jefferson County, Missouri. It is a major east–west route which connects Route 21 to Interstate 55. For the majority of its length, Route M is a four lane divided highway with limited access. At its junction with Interstate 55, Route M becomes an undivided two lane road until its eastern terminus at U.S. 61/67. Route M was rerouted to its present location in the late 1990s after traffic became too great for the original road to handle. The original route is now known as Old Route M.

Route description

Route M begins as a four-lane divided highway at a diamond interchange with Route 21 near the community of Otto. West of the interchange, the highway is called Route MM. The highway heads east for less than 12 mile (0.80 km) where it has a partial cloverleaf interchange with the former alignment of Route 21, appropriately named Old Route 21.[2] It continues east where there are two turn-offs which connect to nearby grade-separated highways. The first highway is the former alignment of Route M (Old Route M), the second is Old Lemay Ferry Road near the community of Antonia. Only the eastbound lanes have direct access to Old Lemay Ferry Road. Access is provided to the westbound lanes via median u-turn crossovers on either side of the intersection.[3]

Route M continues east, where it has two at-grade intersections before entering Barnhart; one at St. Luke's Church Road and the other at Moss Hollow Road. At Barnhart, the intersection with Marriott Parkway connects Interstate 55 traffic with gas stations and retail stores. As of December 2009, the I-55 interchange was being reconstructed to better handle access to southbound I-55.[4] East of the I-55 interchange, Route M becomes a two-lane highway and ends a mile (1.6 km) later at a T intersection with U.S. Route 61 / U.S. Route 67.[2]

Route M, along with Route 21, make up the Jefferson County Scenic Byway.[5][6]


Due to an increasing number of accidents at the intersection with Old Lemay Ferry Road, MoDOT rebuilt the intersection in 2007, with the eastbound lanes only having access to Old Lemay Ferry Road. Turnarounds built short distances east and west of the intersection allow access to and from the westbound lanes.[3]

On December 7, 2009, access to southbound I-55 was closed when MoDOT began a project to rebuild the interchange. The project was scheduled to last through the end of 2010. Southbound access to I-55 from Route M, which had featured a loop ramp, was being relocated to a new roundabout on Metropolitan Boulevard, which will also connect to a park and ride.[4]

As of 2011, the interchange is fully open. Southbound I-55 access is possible through a roundabout.

Major intersections

The entire route is in Jefferson County.

Otto0.0000.000 Route MMContinuation as Route MM
Route 21 – Hillsboro, St. LouisDiamond interchange
0.5410.871Old Route 21Partial cloverleaf interchange
1.3232.129To Old Route M
Antonia2.4233.899Old Lemay Ferry RoadEastbound access only; westbound access via median u-turn crossovers
4.2736.877St. Luke's Church Road
5.1268.249Moss Hollow Road
Barnhart6.37210.255Caitlin Road
I-55 / Metropolitan Boulevard – Festus, St. LouisPartial cloverleaf interchange with I-55; access to southbound I-55 is available via a roundabout; end of four-lane segment
7.47812.035 US 61 / US 67Eastern Terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related route

Connector route
A 0.22 mile connector between Rte M and Old Lemay Ferry Road exists in Jefferson County.[7]


  1. ^ a b Missouri Department of Transportation (July 3, 2013). MoDOT HPMAPS (Map). Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  2. ^ a b General Highway Map Jefferson County (PDF) (Map). Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Missouri Department of Transportation. "South County/North Jefferson County projects - Completed". Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Missouri Department of Transportation. "Southbound I-55 improvements at Route M". Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  5. ^ Jefferson County, Missouri (2000). "Scenic ByWay Plan". Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  6. ^ AuBuchon, Sarah (July 31, 2007). "Jefferson County examines 'scenic byways' designation for routes 21 and M". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  7. ^ Kurz, Don (2013-05-21). Scenic Routes & Byways the Ozarks: Including the Ouachita Mountains. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7627-9540-6.