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Labor Day Weekend Traffic In Waco Could Reach 200,000 Vehicles

Photo Provided by Derek Smith
Traffic slows in both directions at the Brazos River for I-35 Construction through Waco.

Drivers making their way through Waco for the Labor Day weekend, or for the first Baylor football gameof the semester, may need some extra help navigating the roads. 

Major I-35 changes over the summer include the four-year reconstruction project by the Texas Department of Transportation - on a 6-mile stretch of highway from North Loop 340 to 12th street. 

Ken Roberts is a spokesperson for TxDOT. He said his advice is to ‘Plan Before You Go.’  

“Know what’s taking place before you just suddenly find yourself caught up in a situation that perhaps you could’ve avoided," Roberts said. 

Roberts said there are usually some 130,000 - 140,000 vehicles traveling through Waco on Interstate 35 on any given day. On a weekend that number will increase by about a third. But -with the addition of a holiday weekend, like Labor Day, it’ll increase sometimes by 30% more. 

“Now we’ve got a holiday weekend and a game day so we’re going to have a considerable amount of traffic – we could have upwards of 180 – 200,000 vehicles in and around the Waco area," Roberts said. 

Drew Pittman is the Associate Athletic Director for Event Management and Facilities at Baylor University. 

He said there is a large transportation plan in place for gamedays – especially when dealing with traffic from shuttles, buses and cars - as well as pedestrians. 

“And with that comes a lot of different pieces – our law enforcement partners that help us manage traffic on game day, but we’ll also have representatives from the City of Waco and from TxDOT that will be a part of that process as well," Pittman said. 

Some of the changes to I-35 include both southbound and northbound frontage roadwork -and  the removal of the 8th– and 11th/12thstreet bridges.

There also is a temporary closure of a portion of Dutton Avenue from 5thto 8th street through the Fall semester. 

Other closures include southbound and northbound I-35 exits to 4th and 5th street, the northbound I-35 on-ramp past S University Parks Drive and the southbound on-ramp at 6th street. 

University Parks also closes from the Law School to Bagby Avenue three hours before the game. 

Despite these closures, there will be a southbound I-35 exit at 335C for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd to access McLane Stadium lots 1 - 4. 

You can monitor road conditions on I-35 online at, online at or on Twitter @TXDOTWacoPIO. For information on directions and parking if you are attending the football game you can go to

Kateleigh joined KWBU in January 2019. She is an Oklahoma native that is making the move to Waco after working as an All Things Considered host and producer at affiliate KOSU Radio in Oklahoma City. She is a former NPR Next Generation Radio Fellow, a Society of Professional Journalists award winner, an Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame recipient for ‘Outstanding Promise in Journalism’ and the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association’s 2017 recipient for ‘College Newspaper Journalist of the Year.’ After finishing up her journalism degree early she decided to use her first year out of college to make the transition from print media to public radio. She is very excited to have joined KWBU and she is looking forward to all the opportunities it will bring - including providing quality journalism to all Texans.