Drivers making their way through Waco for the Labor Day weekend, or for the first Baylor football game of 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 waco4bmap.org, online at my35.org/Waco or on Twitter @TXDOTWacoPIO. For information on directions and parking if you are attending the football game you can go to BaylorBears.com/parking.