Written by Mike Copeland
No, that is not a mirage. All four new northbound lanes of Interstate 35 from South 12th Street clear to Bellmead have opened, and the southbound lanes are scheduled to follow in the next few days.
A Saturday driver traveling between George’s Restaurant on Speight Avenue and the H-E-B near Bellmead Drive would have encountered no work crews, no orange barrels in the right-of-way and no Webber trucks. The southbound side is scheduled to match the feat by Wednesday morning.
Webber LLC is moving closer to completing the $341 million project launched in April 2019 to demolish a 6.7-mile stretch of I-35 through Waco and rebuild it wider and with a modernized layout. The Texas Department of Transportation announced a 2024 due date, but Webber early on said it expected to lap the field and greet the checkered flag in 2023. Now, “substantial completion … is on track to occur by the end of the year,” TxDOT spokesperson Jake Smith said this past week.