The Taney County Expressway connects rural eastern Taney County, Missouri communities such as Bradleyville and Forsyth to US Highway 65, a National Highway that conveys users to Iowa and Arkansas. Taney County is an area of low and moderate income, rugged terrain, and natural beauty. The economy of the area is based on tourism, retirement income, small industry, livestock production, and timber production. Education is a primary focus of the area and serves as a major component of the community, attracting families to the area.
About Taney County
Throughout its history, the transportation of goods and services has also been a determining factor in the growth of the area. Originally, this need was met with the use of the White River. Wagon travel eventually hauled merchandise over land as the area began to grow. This mode of transportation was difficult due to the rugged topography of the area and numerous crossings of rivers and creeks. These natural features continue to dictate how and where connectivity occurs in the area, and therefore have a significant impact on the cost to construct these facilities. Fortunately, the proposed Taney County Expressway falls in a corridor that works with the terrain thus creating not only a transportation connection, but also opportunities for new residential, commercial, and industrial development as well.
Dams built in 1913, 1951, 1959, creating Lake Taneycomo, Bull Shoals Lake, and Table Rock Lake, respectively, have resulted in the development of tourism which is the economic mainstay of the region. Tourists are attracted to the area by the opportunities for outdoor recreation on the lake and in the forest, as well as the numerous other entertainment attractions in the Branson area. The annual influx of tourists, resulting development, and the growing vacation and retirement communities have put a strain on the transportation system in the east to west connectivity of the county. These lakes, while creating an aesthetic and recreational benefit to the regions, have also created a significant cordon to traffic moving throughout the region. They are effective barriers to cross traffic both north to south and east to west.
The construction of the Taney County Expressway will allow the primary work force located in the rural eastern portion of the county, to use an adequate transportation system to reach the employment centers in the urbanized areas. The construction of the Taney County Expressway will cause significant reductions in travel time, safety concerns, and congestion. Positive results also include improved emergency response, service to schools and growth potential for development.