The Texas Department of Transportation announced that southbound Interstate 35 over University Parks Drive (exit 335B) in Waco will be reduced to one lane for at least two nights and two days, beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 29, in order to perform repair work on the concrete pavement in the center lane.
Both the left and center lanes will be closed during repair and for several hours afterwards as the new pavement cures to the proper strength level. It is expected to take at least 40 hours, and, barring unforeseen difficulties, should be complete by 7 a.m. Wednesday, July 2.
Traffic approaching the work area will be moved into the right-hand lane and given the option of remaining in that lane or exiting to the access-road bridge across the Brazos River. Immediately after crossing University Parks Drive on the access road, traffic can reenter southbound I-35 via the on-ramp at that location. Drivers needing to turn right to go downtown will be allowed to do so.
Although one main lane will remain open during repairs and the traffic moving onto the access road will have a dedicated non-stop lane to the next on-ramp, it is expected that the closure will create significant traffic backups and delays. Local traffic is encouraged to plan alternate routes for the duration of the repair work. Through traffic (truckers, etc.) is encouraged to use Loop 340 around Waco and reconnect to I-35 on the south side of town.
University Parks Drive will be closed under the bridge while the work is being done. Eastbound traffic on University Parks will detour south to Fourth-Fifth Street at the Second Street crossing intersection just before the highway. It is recommended that westbound traffic turn left at Dutton Avenue and use the Fourth-Fifth Street intersection to access downtown or the west side of the highway.
The driveway exit from Baylor's Clifton Robinson Tower directly to the access road will be closed throughout the repair. Workers and visitors to the tower will need to use the driveway opening to University Parks Drive. Traffic signals at the intersection will be converted to flashing red and yellow lights.
“Maintenance of this type is usually done at night so as not to impact traffic any more than necessary, but for the safety of the driving public we felt it necessary to get this portion of the work done before the July Fourth weekend, due to the possibility of higher than normal traffic during the three-day weekend,” TxDOT officials noted.
Additional repairs to the under structure of the bridge will be scheduled later this summer, and will also require a major main lane closure.