12th Street bridge

Interstate 35 at the 12th Street overpass. A project to widen the interstate from 12th Street to North Loop 340 is set to start in the spring.

Work to widen a portion of Interstate 35 through Waco to four lanes in each direction is set to start in the spring, and local business owners and residents have an opportunity to hear more about the $300 million project Tuesday.

The Texas Department of Transportation is hosting an open house public meeting from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum’s Knox Hall, 100 Texas Ranger Trail in Waco.

Waco District Engineer Stan Swiatek said officials will keep the community updated throughout the project.

“We will be working to get the project completed safely and efficiently while being considerate of construction impacts to the community,” Swiatek said. “We are committed to maintaining regular close and effective communications with the community and travelers on I-35.”

The roughly 6-mile project extends on I-35 from 12th Street to North Loop 340. Improvements to frontage roads, ramps bridges and interchanges are included in the project. Additional U-turns will be added, and the frontage roads will have continuous sidewalks and wider outside lanes to accommodate bicycle traffic.

Another informational meeting with more detailed plans will be held before construction starts in the spring.

TxDOT representatives will be on site Tuesday to answer questions about the project.

All right of way for the project has been purchased, and utility relocation is underway.

The project is anticipated to wrap up by 2024.

TxDOT officials have said the contractor will be eligible for incentives for meeting incremental deadlines throughout the project, which are intended to ensure work does not last any longer than necessary.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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