Made it to Omaha (Road Report)

Some thoughts on the drive to Omaha today:

  • Excluding stops for gas, food, etc., the total drive time was around 7 hours, 15 minutes from my house in Fayetteville to downtown Omaha.

  • In Kansas City there is a lane closed on I-435 north, just before the intersection with I-70. We rode the left lane and were able to get through quickly. Beware, though, the left lane in that spot becomes an exit onto I-70 about two-tenths of a mile past where the far right lane closes, so you’ll need to get right quickly to stay on I-435.

  • We took U.S. 71 to U.S. 34 to I-29. We were forced off I-29 at mile marker 56.8 north of St. Joseph. The distance from where we got onto U.S. 71 to where we got onto U.S. 34 was about 84 miles. The distance from the U.S. 34 entry back to the interstate was about 45 miles. The total detour was about 129 miles and took 2 hours, 10 minutes from interstate exit to exit.

  • There are a few towns in which you have to slow down along the detour - Maryville in Missouri, and Braddyville and Red Oak in Iowa. Those are really the only towns with places for food and gas. Maryville is about 28 miles off the interstate, Braddyville about 70 miles off the interstate and Red Oak about 100 miles off the interstate. There is another town, Malvern, that is about 10 miles from where U.S. 34 meets back up with I-29.

  • At Braddyville, you have to take a couple of turns to stay on U.S. 71.

  • The detour signs want you to stay on U.S. 71, but getting off at U.S. 34 works fine. There are two exits for U.S. 34. The west exit is the second one and is a loop.

  • There were about 50-60 miles without internet/data service. I was not using GPS, but I imagine it is unavailable during that stretch, so be sure to study, screenshot or print out your map beforehand.

  • U.S. 71 is four lanes until Maryville, then becomes two lanes the rest of the way. There are a lot of straight stretches with passing opportunities, but there are a number of cars (including trucks) on that road, so there are some stretches where it can get bogged down.

  • The exit onto U.S. 71 from I-29 was not bottlenecked; very easy drive there. Here is a video my wife took.

  • U.S. 34 is a much better road. It is two lanes, but with intermittent third lanes for passing.

  • There are three or four slowdowns along the detour route, but nothing significant. About 10 miles past Red Oak there is some work on a small bridge over a creek that had the road down to one lane over the bridge.

  • As you come down the hill toward the interstate on U.S. 34, you can really see the devastation of the flooding. The Missouri River has wiped out crops everywhere and is still on both sides of the interstate in some places. At one point you feel like you are driving through the middle of a small lake.

  • Among the tourist destinations along the detour route are Glenn Miller’s birthplace and the Villisca Axe House. I had to look up what the latter was :shock: :

Thanks for the report Matt!

Heading this way tomorrow morning!


Thanks Matt for the detailed report. That is the route that I plan to take. I won’t be coming up until Monday, so keep us updated as you always do.

EDIT: I did notice that Google maps uses that route, but has you turn off of US-71 on Mo-2 instead of US-34. I’m not sure why, but at least I’ve seen the full route.

We went 49 to Nevada, cut over to Fort Scott then 69 north (speed limit is higher in Kansas than Missouri) 435 to 70 over to Topeka and then 75 all the way to Omaha. 7 hours

So, 15 minutes quicker, and I get to drive faster, :sunglasses:

Did you stop and visit? :smiley:

Thanks Matt.
Hope to join you next week. :smiley:

Winning on all levels!