Interstate 35’s main lanes in both directions through Waco are set to close Wednesday and Thursday nights as crews set beams in place for a new overpass at Forrest Street.

The lanes close at 7 p.m. each evening and reopen at 7 a.m. the following day.

Crews with the Texas Department of Transportation will close northbound traffic at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, forcing traffic to take a ramp to the access road, with a chance to re-enter the highway at Bellmead Drive. Southbound traffic will take a temporary exit near Elm Avenue, with re-entry at the entrance past University Parks Drive.

TxDOT spokeswoman Jodi Wheatley said the work near the overpass at Forrest Street will be to install support beams. Work will continue at the overpass to lay the bridge deck for the driving surface and guard rails at a later date.

“If we get all the work done in one night, we won’t need to close the interstate for the second night, but everything is contingent on the weather,” Wheatley said. “The project is anticipated to be done by the end of the year to have to overpass fully open.”

Warning signs will be posted in the area to help motorists navigate the closure, Wheatley said. Loop 340 will also be available as an optional detour, and officials are recommending avoiding the area during the work.

The overpass must be complete before TxDOT crews can begin work on the $300 million expansion of Interstate 35 through Waco. Wheatley said the entirety of the overpass must be done first to free access roads along the interstate before the expansion project.

TxDOT will spend the next three to five years widening I-35 from six to eight lanes between North Loop 340 and 12th Street.

+5 
Lane closure

Interstate 35 main lanes, both northbound and southbound, will close for work on the new Forrest Street Bridge.

+5 
Lane closure

Interstate 35 main lanes, both northbound and southbound, will close for work on the new Forrest Street Bridge.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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