I-35 Progress in Waco ?

5,563 Views | 51 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by UrsinusInfction
Wicked_Wombat
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Haven't been to Waco in a few months...what's the progress on I-35 from MLK to say...17th street? Are they using the new mainland's? Are the cross streets (MLK/U-Park/4th/5th/etc.) re-paved and open yet?
Brian Ethridge
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Wicked_Wombat said:

Haven't been to Waco in a few months...what's the progress on I-35 from MLK to say...17th street? Are they using the new mainland's? Are the cross streets (MLK/U-Park/4th/5th/etc.) re-paved and open yet?
No, but getting better and expected to be done sooner than original forecast.
UrsinusInfction
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New mainlines are open both ways, but only 2 lanes each way. Scheduled to finish by EOY:

https://wacotrib.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/txdot-leaders-rebuilt-i-35-in-waco-on-track-to-fully-open-by-years-end/article_c06c4b82-c1b9-11ec-8459-67216c3ab678.html
SteamedHams
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I exit/enter the UParks/35 section every day, and my progress report is that is still sucks tremendously.
Coke Bear
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I take that route twice a day and have been contemplating a post ...

The new section northbound from approximately 24th street (Exit 333A) to Business 77 (Exit 337 - just north of the McLane are just about finished. As mentioned it is still open to just two lanes of traffic. All they lack is a few sections of light poles on the center barrier and clean up. They have started the consolidation of debris to be picked up. Most of the lanes are striped.

Some of the lanes on the underpass 4th and U-Parks street still need some work.

I suspect that they will open the southbound lanes in that section soon.

North of Business 77 (Exit 337) they have a good majority of the highway complete. They have some rails to install on some of the bridges. Without rain to slow them down, they are making progress.

5:00 PM rush hour traffic: Travel in that area Monday's and Tuesday's are too bad. Wednesday it starts to get more crowded. Thursday is worse. On Friday, it becomes a slow moving parking lot from noon til 6:30+. The traffic southbound backs up past Exit 339 - Lake Shore Dr.

Fortunately, we are nearing the end.
Bear Doc
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I know a guy is an engineer on the project and he told me it should be substantially complete by the end of July, but publicly they are still saying the end of the year...
SteamedHams
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Bear Doc said:

I know a guy is an engineer on the project and he told me it should be substantially complete by the end of July, but publicly they are still saying the end of the year...

If this section is completed in the next 18 days I will substantially eat my own hat.
Bear Doc
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SteamedHams said:

Bear Doc said:

I know a guy is an engineer on the project and he told me it should be substantially complete by the end of July, but publicly they are still saying the end of the year...

If this section is completed in the next 18 days I will substantially eat my own hat.

To clarify, he may have been referring to all of the main lanes being open... Although I would love to see the hat thing
SteamedHams
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Bear Doc said:

SteamedHams said:

Bear Doc said:

I know a guy is an engineer on the project and he told me it should be substantially complete by the end of July, but publicly they are still saying the end of the year...

If this section is completed in the next 18 days I will substantially eat my own hat.

To clarify, he may have been referring to all of the main lanes being open... Although I would love to see the hat thing
Big12Bear
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Coke Bear said:

I take that route twice a day and have been contemplating a post ...


Some of the lanes on the underpass 4th and U-Parks street still need some work.


I haven't been on Univ Parks since hoops season ended. Is that still a war zone? It'd be nice to get that wrapped up before basketball starts up. Hopefully sooner than that.
SteamedHams
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Big12Bear said:

Coke Bear said:

I take that route twice a day and have been contemplating a post ...


Some of the lanes on the underpass 4th and U-Parks street still need some work.


I haven't been on Univ Parks since hoops season ended. Is that still a war zone? It'd be nice to get that wrapped up before basketball starts up. Hopefully sooner than that.
I'll let the TXDOT traffic cams do all the talking, here's a live look:

Coke Bear
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Big12Bear said:

Coke Bear said:

I take that route twice a day and have been contemplating a post ...


Some of the lanes on the underpass 4th and U-Parks street still need some work.


I haven't been on Univ Parks since hoops season ended. Is that still a war zone? It'd be nice to get that wrapped up before basketball starts up. Hopefully sooner than that.
It's not fun right not, but I strongly suspect that they will have that area cleared up prior to the start of basketball season.
Yogi
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Primary work left is on the rebuild of the 77/ 35 interchange.
Big12Bear
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https://wacotrib.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/downtown-road-closures-delays-weave-web-of-inconvenience-for-waco-drivers/article_e428df00-fd81-11ec-a06e-af7514b9c8ce.html#tracking-source=article-related-bottom

From July 6 article:

"When Utility Services Director Lisa Tyer said her entire presentation for Tuesday's city council meeting consisted of updates on University Parks Drive, city employees in the audience laughed."

The original plan was to replace the sewer without closing the road, but nearby projects connected to the Riverfront development and construction of Baylor University's Foster Pavilion made it impossible, she said.

The entire road will be rebuilt once those projects are done because the road will be "completely decimated" by then, Tyer said.
Wicked_Wombat
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Was there an ETA on the University Parks road efforts...or is that a "sometime this decade project"?

Coke Bear
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I-35 update ...

Three lanes are now open from McLane south bound. They still have to install the light poles in some of the sections in that area. North bound is still limited to two lanes.

We'll see how this impacts flow of traffic on Friday when it is usually a parking lot.

North of McLane (Exit 337 area - this is where north-bound traffic crosses the divider and uses two lanes of the South-bound lanes), this morning the construction crews were pouring concrete for the center median divider.

WILLIS
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Any plans to upgrade the Loop 340 into an actual freeway the whole way around? Seems like that should have happened before 35 construction started. But here we are.
4th and Inches
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WILLIS said:

Any plans to upgrade the Loop 340 into an actual freeway the whole way around? Seems like that should have happened before 35 construction started. But here we are.
yes, planned but not funded iirc
Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.

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Yogi
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It would never work past MCC, now make it go up Steinbeck Bend around China Spring and link up with Hwy 6 at 185? That makes sense.
"Smarter than the Average Bear."
T-REX
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how about we make loop 340 actually a loop?
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Brian Ethridge
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Easy drive into and out of Waco today
4th and Inches
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Brian Ethridge said:

Easy drive into and out of Waco today
the line is around the building most days..
Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.

Jean Racine
Eleven-League Grant
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4th and Inches said:

WILLIS said:

Any plans to upgrade the Loop 340 into an actual freeway the whole way around? Seems like that should have happened before 35 construction started. But here we are.
yes, planned but not funded iirc
Correct. In fact, East Loop 340, which now in the year 2022 is still predominantly a 2-lane roadway, was originally planned, according to old MPO Schedules, as a 'Full Freeway Segment'.

TxDOT has been doing its work here, first in 2017 with a Public Meeting and then in 2018 with a Public Hearing by presenting its plans for Loop 340.

Namely:
Quote:

Proposed improvements to SL 340 would include reconstructing and widening this highway from the Brazos River to US 84 in the cities of Bellmead and Waco, a distance of approximately 5.2 miles.

The existing LP 340 roadway consists of two 12-foot-wide lanes with 10-foot inside and outside shoulders. The proposed project would add one mainlane in each direction and frontage roads. The mainlanes would consist of two 12-foot lanes in each direction with 10-foot outside shoulders and inside shoulders, which vary in width separated by a depressed grassy median or concrete traffic barrier. Frontage roads would consist of two 12-foot wide travel lanes, flanked by a 6-foot wide sidewalk. The mainlanes and frontage roads would be separated by a grassy median that varies in width.

Frontage road bridges would be constructed over the Brazos River along with mainlanes bridges carrying SL 340 over the existing SP 484 / SH 6 bridges.

Additional right of way is not required.
From a regional transportation flow standpoint, TxDOT knows that this expansion (and more) is very much needed, not just to have a functional alternate I-35 route around Waco, but also for the transportation of regional traffic from NW Houston and BCS to Waco and points north, primarily the western part of the DFW metroplex.

The problem, though, has been getting the local MPO leaders to allocate moneys to the East Waco and Bellmead areas (areas lacking in relative political pull or financial strength), when they can instead spend dollars in the City of Waco proper, and on improvements to US Highway 84 west of town.

As a result, the MPO makes local power players 'happy', at the expense of better regional traffic flow in our whole area.

I've been told by an insider that as soon as I-35 is complete, TxDOT is 'serious' this time about making this happen. I really can't say. If you look at the plans from the Waco MPO, the project is still one that receives lip service but no funding.

For the curious, plans and maps are located here:

Loop 340 Improvements

The last update was October 1, 2018.
cowboycwr
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Two questions on I35 for those that seem to know....


1. Just north of Waco (past the TSTC exit-Crest/Craven) there is a big warehouse looking building under construction on the North bound side but I have not seen any signs of what it is. Anyone know?

2. Also not really Waco and I35 but are there plans for I35 expansion past Hillsboro? The last time I drove 35 east it looked like there were doing some but IMO both 35 east and west could use expansion to 3 lanes from Hillsboro through the outer cities and into Dallas or FT Worth. For me I would like that on 35W as I take it about once a month and it always seems to slow down about Alvarado with people going one or two miles over the limit in the left lane and it needs a 3rd lane.
Coke Bear
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cowboycwr said:

For me I would like that on 35W as I take it about once a month and it always seems to slow down about Alvarado with people going one or two miles over the limit in the left lane and it needs a 3rd lane.
That may be b/c Alvarado is somewhat of a speed trap. I always slow down going thru there.
Coke Bear
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Minor I-35 update (7/25) ...

North bound lanes are complete (no more crossing over into the south bound lane near Exit 337). They are still limited to two lanes thru Waco.

The crews still have finished the center median barrier at the former cross-over point and a little clean up to due before they open all lanes. I wouldn't be surprised if it were completely opened by the start of football.
T-REX
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Coke Bear said:

cowboycwr said:

For me I would like that on 35W as I take it about once a month and it always seems to slow down about Alvarado with people going one or two miles over the limit in the left lane and it needs a 3rd lane.
That may be b/c Alvarado is somewhat of a speed trap. I always slow down going thru there.
this. I drive the route probably at least once a month during the year and way more during football & basketball seasons. Alvarado is only slow because it's a speed trap. I've never experienced actual congestion once I get past Burleson going south until Waco and vice versa other than once which was coming back after 2021 tech game. People drive way too slow in heavy rain.
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cowboycwr
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Alvarado may be a speed trap but I still feel that from the 35 split until it opens up to 3 lanes in Burleson I always feel there are numerous times where it is congested and needs a third lane.

I drive it at least once a month all year and sometimes more and feel that stretch is always hard because there are many times people are going under the speed limit in the left lane, 18 wheelers using the left lane, etc.
T-REX
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cowboycwr said:

Alvarado may be a speed trap but I still feel that from the 35 split until it opens up to 3 lanes in Burleson I always feel there are numerous times where it is congested and needs a third lane.

I drive it at least once a month all year and sometimes more and feel that stretch is always hard because there are many times people are going under the speed limit in the left lane, 18 wheelers using the left lane, etc.
I just don't see the feasibility of expanding it through what is essentially a fairly rural area. There is no infrastructure besides a few gas stations really and thus the only traffic is that that is traveling to different areas. No local congestion. Prolly a 1% chance they would ever expand that stretch as it simply isn't justified financially/use wise imo. If any part of that stretch became more developed then sure. But he'll, Hillsboro is nothing more than gas stations and fast food now. Outlets are dead. They obviously won't shrink the road there but my point is I don't see any of that stretch expanding anytime soon to justify needing more lanes
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cowboycwr
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T-REX said:

cowboycwr said:

Alvarado may be a speed trap but I still feel that from the 35 split until it opens up to 3 lanes in Burleson I always feel there are numerous times where it is congested and needs a third lane.

I drive it at least once a month all year and sometimes more and feel that stretch is always hard because there are many times people are going under the speed limit in the left lane, 18 wheelers using the left lane, etc.
I just don't see the feasibility of expanding it through what is essentially a fairly rural area. There is no infrastructure besides a few gas stations really and thus the only traffic is that that is traveling to different areas. No local congestion. Prolly a 1% chance they would ever expand that stretch as it simply isn't justified financially/use wise imo. If any part of that stretch became more developed then sure. But he'll, Hillsboro is nothing more than gas stations and fast food now. Outlets are dead. They obviously won't shrink the road there but my point is I don't see any of that stretch expanding anytime soon to justify needing more lanes
So counter point to that....

It isn't about local use. It is about the massive traffic 35 gets from shipping.

As to the rural nature of it... there are plenty of rural areas south of Hillsboro that were expanded to 3 lanes recently.

To me it is the age old problem of they expanded the road to 3 lanes for a large stretch just to have it narrow down again and then traffic moves slower.
4th and Inches
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cowboycwr said:

T-REX said:

cowboycwr said:

Alvarado may be a speed trap but I still feel that from the 35 split until it opens up to 3 lanes in Burleson I always feel there are numerous times where it is congested and needs a third lane.

I drive it at least once a month all year and sometimes more and feel that stretch is always hard because there are many times people are going under the speed limit in the left lane, 18 wheelers using the left lane, etc.
I just don't see the feasibility of expanding it through what is essentially a fairly rural area. There is no infrastructure besides a few gas stations really and thus the only traffic is that that is traveling to different areas. No local congestion. Prolly a 1% chance they would ever expand that stretch as it simply isn't justified financially/use wise imo. If any part of that stretch became more developed then sure. But he'll, Hillsboro is nothing more than gas stations and fast food now. Outlets are dead. They obviously won't shrink the road there but my point is I don't see any of that stretch expanding anytime soon to justify needing more lanes
So counter point to that....

It isn't about local use. It is about the massive traffic 35 gets from shipping.

As to the rural nature of it... there are plenty of rural areas south of Hillsboro that were expanded to 3 lanes recently.

To me it is the age old problem of they expanded the road to 3 lanes for a large stretch just to have it narrow down again and then traffic moves slower.
ahead of the split, 3 becomes 4 and then splits to 2 and 2 with the 3rd lane on 35E underway.
Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.

Jean Racine
Coke Bear
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UPDATE - 8/4!!!

Northbound I-35 thru Waco until Exit 338 (HEB/Sam's) - 4 LANES!!!

From that point north of Waco is permanently 3 lanes.

I'll know more about southbound this afternoon.
SteamedHams
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Coke Bear said:

UPDATE - 8/4!!!

Northbound I-35 thru Waco until Exit 338 (HEB/Sam's) - 4 LANES!!!

From that point north of Waco is permanently 3 lanes.

I'll know more about southbound this afternoon.

I-35 and University Parks currently, as of 7:53am this morning:

Brian Ethridge
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Staff
Coke Bear said:

UPDATE - 8/4!!!

Northbound I-35 thru Waco until Exit 338 (HEB/Sam's) - 4 LANES!!!

From that point north of Waco is permanently 3 lanes.

I'll know more about southbound this afternoon.

Love to read it
73s de N4WJP
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Just passed through going both ways an hour ago. Northbound is four lanes of clear sailing, as mentioned above. Southbound lanes appear to be nearly complete, but still are funneled down to just two from the Lake Shore exit to the river. I would guess they should have it wide open in a matter of days. It's all so new Google maps hasn't caught up yet, so driving instructions are all over the place. I'm sure out-of-towners are having to navigate as best they can.
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