Work on the $341 million widening of Interstate 35 through Waco is intensifying just as holiday travel around the state is poised to do the same.

Crews on Friday closed University Parks Drive at the southbound I-35 frontage road, a move that will last at least a week, Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Ken Roberts said. To cross under I-35 in this area, which is near Baylor University and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, vehicles traveling east on University Parks Drive need to take Clay Avenue to Seventh Street, where they will have access to the turnaround lanes at 17th and 18th streets, Roberts said in a press release.

This new route may have come into play for anyone who attended the NCAA volleyball tournament Baylor hosted at the Ferrell Center.

Westbound traffic on University Parks Drive will need to take Dutton Avenue to Fourth Street or to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Roberts said.

Meanwhile, crews will be lifting and placing beams under the Forrest Street bridge to prepare for building turnaround lanes. To improve safety during this project, northbound I-35 main lanes will close overnight on Monday. Northbound vehicles will be directed to use Exit 335C for Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and can re-enter north of Business 77, according to the press release.

Additionally, crews closed Fifth Street at the southbound I-35 frontage road on Sunday. This closing will last at least four days, Roberts said.

During this time, traffic on Fifth Street will need to use Clay Avenue to Seventh Street to access the southbound frontage road, Roberts said.

Weather conditions may alter construction schedules.

Updates and progress reports are available at www.my35.org/waco.

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