Waco: Big change made to 5-mile stretch of Interstate 35

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A major change was made Tuesday night to a five-mile stretch of Interstate 35 as work continues on a $341 million project to expand the highway to four lanes in each direction through Waco.

A major change is coming Tuesday night to a five-mile stretch of Interstate 35 as work continues on a $341 million project to expand the highway. (TxDOT traffic camera photo)

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Texas Department of Transportation will shift southbound traffic to the northbound side of the highway from Business Highway 77 on the city’s north side to South 17th and 18th streets so work on the expansion of the southbound lanes can begin.

The diversion of southbound traffic to the northbound lanes is expected to continue until the middle of next year, TxDOT said.

Southbound exits for Business 77/Elm Avenue and University Parks Drive will remain closed during that period.

To access Business 77, southbound drivers will need to exit at U.S. Highway 84/Waco Drive and to access University Parks, South 4th and 5th streets and downtown, drivers will need to exit at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

The first step of this phase of the project involves removing the section of the southbound highway that crosses MLK followed by the section that crosses University Parks, the section that crosses Business 77 and finally the bridge over the Brazos River.

Each removal will take about two days and will require closures of all lanes crossing under the highway.

Eastbound and westbound MLK lanes under I-35 could be closed as early as 1 a.m. Wednesday and during the removal the southbound exit for MLK will be closed.

Southbound drivers who want to access South 4th and 5th streets and the downtown area will need to exit at South 17th/18th streets and turn around, TxDOT said.

The MLK lanes should be reopened sometime after noon on Friday.