AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - "Avoid I-35!" this is the message TxDOT is putting out there for drivers this weekend. Traffic will be reduced to two lanes in both directions on the section between Rundberg Lane and 290.
Crews are set to work on various projects during that time. Closures begin Friday at 9pm.
“When I heard about it I knew it was going to be bad news it's usually worse than people expect,” said Mark Campbell who frequently drives that section of 35. TxDOT will be closing not just 1 or 2, but several lanes along I-35 for the weekend.
“If your weekend plans don't include sitting in traffic on I-35 plan a head and find another route to your destination,” said Terry McCoy the TxDOT Austin district engineer.
The closures will happen on the section of I-35 between Rundberg and 290. Northbound and southbound will be reduced to 2 lanes each and at one-point traffic will shift onto the east side of 35. “We're going to have openings in the existing concrete barriers that the opposing direction of traffic will travel through,” said McCoy.
The reason for these closures is due to several projects happening in the area. TxDOT is set to install beams for new flyovers as well aa demolish the bridge at St Johns over I-35. “This bridge will be completely reconstructed it will accommodate pedestrians and cyclists coming across,” said McCoy.
TxDOT is urging drivers like Campbell to use the toll roads and avoid 35 all together as they are expecting a lot of back up. “I will avoid it if I can and if I forget I will swear a lot. I’ll make sure the cd's are stocked in my car,” said Campbell.
This isn't the only weekend where lane closures like this will happen on the popular interstate. On June 28th, the same thing will happen for that weekend. Traffic is expected to shift to the west side of 35.
“We appreciate their patience as this work is necessary it will ultimate lead to mobility along I-35,” said McCoy. TxDOT said they waited for school to be over to begin these closures as there will be less traffic on the roads. The closures begin at 9pm tomorrow and last till Monday morning.
This all of course is dependent on the weather, storms could delay the projects and lane closures.
FOX 7 asked TxDOT on how this would impact response time for first responders. They said they've been in talks with APD to try and alleviate this potential issue.