TxDot presents master I-35 expansion plan to residents - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

TxDot presents master I-35 expansion plan to residents

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By Danielle Skinner

WACO-Concerned home and business owners showed up at a public hearing on Thursday on a massive construction project that will force many of them to relocate.

TxDot presented its master plan for expanding I-35 into an eight lane highway.

Those home and business owners say yes expansion is always good but the affects it will have on homes and businesses may not be.

TxDot says its $365 million project will reconstruct about 8 miles of I-35 right through the heart of Waco. This plan has been in the works for 12 years TxDot plans to start its project by next fall.

The longer term plan is much bigger than that. It's 17 expansion projects that stretch 90 miles from the southern Bell county line to the split near Hillsboro.

I-35 drivers will get three travel lanes in each direction and a one-way frontage road.

All the funding for this project hasn't been approved but TxDot has money to improve some frontage ramps near east Waco.

At tonight's meeting TxDot-dot's interim district engineer said this new highway would cut down on traffic and enhance safety not just for drivers.

"The outer lane of the frontage roads have extra wide lanes or shared use lanes where there would be room for a car bicyclists," said Andy Petter.

Let's not forget about the three hundred plus businesses and homeowners that sit along I-35.

Many of them came to the meeting to see maps that showed how this expansion would affect their area. Some say the affects of having to relocate could be permanent for some.

"I want TxDot to understand that these neighbors will have social, economical and psychological affects behind being located it's not just about purchasing their property," said North Riverside resident Jeanette Bell.

If your business or home is affected by TxDot's project they have a relocation program that can help.

TxDot expects this project to get approved by Waco's metropolitan planning association next month but it will take several years to complete. 

 

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