Brazos River highway project shows progress
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More than 50 individual highway expansion projects are currently underway on Interstate 35 near Waco, and one of the major projects is now taking shape.
The first support pillars of the new I-35 crossing at the Brazos River are rising from the riverbed and mountains of rock are shaping the massive bridge abutments.
"It's going to be a big eye-catcher and it's going to be a huge relief on the traffic side of things," Jodi Wheatley with TxDOT said. "We're on schedule and doing well. You can see a lot of progress going on, a lot of change."
But the progress does not come without disruption.
A museum caught in the middle of it all reports attendance is slightly down, and for patrons of Buzzard Billy’s, getting to a familiar favorite is an unfamiliar gauntlet.
"You're kind of going against the traffic,” customer Ray Moss said. “And when you get down here you see all the equipment that's being used or whatever."
But Buzzard Billy's owner Tracy Maughan is taking it in stride.
“I feel like they're doing what they can and progress is being made," he said.
There's been some unexpected help.
"A lot of the construction guys have decided they really like going over to Buzzard Billy's for lunch while they're here," Wheatley said.
And the project has people curious.
"The weather's getting a little better now, it's warming up and a lot of people are learning how to build bridges, sitting on our deck," Maughan said. "It's just going to help the river and my business altogether."
About two years remain on the Brazos River Bridge project schedule. Drivers who pass through that work zone should stay alert for temporary traffic flow changes and detours.