LAMAR, MO.--- "I've been waiting since I was a child," states Margaret Marti, Lanarti's Owner.
The interstate has been a long time coming for Lamarti's owner Margaret Marti.
"Going to make that 4 lane when I was still in high school and they were getting ready to make that an interstate by making that 4 lanes," states Marti.
That never happened.
"I said it will not happen in my lifetime," states Marti.
Now it will on December 12th, the 180 mile stretch of U.S. 71 between Joplin and Kansas City will become Interstate 49.
"It's good for the community to be an interstate," states Marti.
Lamariti's is a stop for travelers and truck drivers along that route.
"They travel to Kansas City, Iowa, and then to Arkansas," says Marti.
During the winter months, more than 600 people pass through Lamarti's a day, but they expect business to pick up.
"I think that people travel interstates. It's safer and they know what they're getting when they hit an interstate," states Julie Miller, Lamarti's Manager.
On the other side of the highway, employees at Conoco also expect business to pick up with people who travel through from Arkansas to Kansas. More travelers could make for busier employees.
"If the business comes, generates more business then we will add more employees," states Miller.
Margaret is happy she was wrong about the interstate becoming a reality.
"If I live until the 12th of this month it will happen in my lifetime and I'm excited about it," states Marti.
71 will officially be designated as Interstate 49 during a ceremony on December 12th.