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Construction intense on I-35

Work will continue through Fall 2015

“This is the most intensive level we will see,” said Jodi Wheatley, information specialist for Texas Department of Transportation for the I-35 corridor in the Waco District.

And it is intense as 66 miles of the 80 miles of I-35 that pass through the Waco District, from Abbott in the north to Salado in the south, are under construction as part of a major project to expand I-35 in both directions so that it will be at least three lanes in each direction and four lanes in highly-populated areas.

Salado should see its construction aches coming to an end by the close of 2015 as crews with James Construction are expected to begin construction in the next three months on the final portion of the project through Salado: the reconfiguring of the underpass of I-35 and Salado Plaza.

Work on this section will take about eight months to complete and will move the underpass of I-35 from its present location to connect Salado Plaza Drive in a straight shot underneath I-35 ending at West Village Road on the west.

Traffic on Salado Plaza Rd. will be able to turn north or south on Main Street or continue west to under pass I-35. Traffic on Mill Creek Dr. will also be able to turn south on Main or north onto the access road feed. The access road feed at Salado Library is actually two way, feeding into the northbound access lanes, according to the I-35 schematics.

TXDOT officials did not have the I-35 schematics on hand for the June 26 town hall meeting with citizens, having left those maps at the Waco office. However, they did have schematics for the Belton portions of the expansion project.

A copy of the I-35 schematics are available in a large PDF file at salado villagevoice.com.

Many of the 100 or so citizens gathered for the meeting were frustrated by the lack of schematics, others were frustrated by what they consider a lack of consideration for safety for those traveling in the project area. One citizen asked repeatedly about the confusion of drivers on two-way frontage roads during the construction, especially when those roads will be one-way when the project is completed.

She was told that TXDOT will “look into that” for additional signage to warn drivers that the access roads are two-way, particularly in areas where there is a confluence of traffic such as the intersection of West Village Road with the two-way access road and the entrance ramp back onto I-35.

Citizens were again encouraged by Wheatley to follow TXDOT on Twitter and subscribe to the daily and weekly e-mail distributions of lane and other closures for the construction project at my35.org.