(TXDOT RELEASE-JODI WHEATLEY)
Last week’s lane closures along southbound I-35 in Hill County were not sufficient to complete the work necessary between Hillsboro and Abbott, so the closures will continue next week. Beginning Monday evening, February 25, at 7 pm, the inside (left-hand) lane and shoulder, beginning near Chatt Road, will be closed in successive sections. Work will move southward to FM 1304, north of Abbott. When the work on the left lane is completed, crews will begin again at the north end of the project at FM 310 and close the out side (right-hand) lane and shoulder in sections while working southward to FM 1304.
All work will be conducted between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am, and we are hoping the work can be completed by 7 am Friday. Crews will be working to prepare the existing pavement for the expansion of I-35 through this section. Construction in this area, unlike most of the other areas scheduled to be expanded, will upgrade and add to the existing lanes, rather than completely replace them. Because a new and unfamiliar technique is being used to prepare the existing pavement, the original estimated schedule sent last week did not allow enough time to accomplish the work. The new schedule outlined above is only an estimate of how long it will take to complete the work. And, as always, bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances may require changes to the schedule. Updat es will be sent out if changes are required.
Message boards have been placed along the highway to warn drivers of the closures as they approach the work area.
Webber Construction started work on this project in July 2010, as part of TxDOT’s commitment to widen I-35 to a minimum of three lanes in each direction from San Antonio to the east-west split above Hillsboro. Work on this section is expected to take about two years, with completion anticipated in the fall of 2012. The final stage of the project will be the construction of two new state-of-the-art rest areas, one on each side of the highway, north of County Road 3115, near Warren Laboratories. Construction for these installations will be awarded in a separate contract, expected to be ready for bids in May 2011.
Motorists are advised to observe all warning signs, traffic control devices, workers and public safety officers as the lane-improvement work continues in the project area. As a reminder, traffic fines double in work zones when workers are present anywhere in the work area, whether they are visible or not.
Efforts to improve the I-35 corridor throughout the state would not be possible without the support of local governments, the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress. In addition to the ongoing $1.9 billion dollar expansion of I-35 through TxDOT’s Waco District, a number of critical projects are underway in the Dallas/Fort Worth region to improve I-35 connections to I-820 and I-635 thanks to a partnership with the private sector. Meanwhile, TxDOT continues to plan for the long-term future of the I-35 corridor through the MY 35 citizen-driven planning process. For more information about I-35 expansion projects or the MY 35 planning effort, visit http://www.my35.org/ .