Everything You Need to Know About I-35 Texas
The I-35, known as the Jack Kultgen Freeway that travels through Waco, is one of the busiest interstates in Texas. The highway has between six to eight lanes and runs to the west of Baylor University, and crosses the Brazos River. Learn more about the ongoing construction on the I-35 and why there are so many accidents.
I-35 Construction Closures
As the I-35 expansion project continues to make improvements, such as widening lanes, reconstructing bridges, and improving pedestrian/bicycle access, so do the many construction closures.
The I-35W is a north-south corridor that runs through Fort Worth, Haslet, and Burleson. In September 2020, construction began on the next phase of I-35W from US 81/287 to Eagle Parkway. The public-private project is rebuilding 6.7 miles of I-35W and adding four TEXpress Lanes, auxiliary lanes, and some frontage roads. It is anticipated to be substantially complete later this year.
The I-35 Capital Express Central Project
This project is approximately eight (8) miles in length through Austin. It will remove the existing I-35 decks, lower the roadway, add two non-tolled high-occupancy vehicle managed lanes in each direction, and pedestrian and bicycle paths along I-35 from US 290 East to US 290 West/State Highway 71. Construction began in November 2022 on the South project, which limits SH 45 SE to SH 71/Ben White Blvd. Additionally, the North project will start construction early this year, limiting US 290 E to SH 45 N.
Central I-35 Construction Project
A four-year construction project on a 6-mile stretch in Waco from North Loop 340 to 12th Street began in May 2019 and is expected to be complete this year. The project aims to widen the main lanes to four lanes in each direction and improve frontage roadies and interchanges. However, traffic will still be in two lanes in each direction while crews work on the inside lanes of I-35. Here are the permanent closures while construction continues:
- The 11th and 12th st. bridge crossing over I-35.
- Bank Dr. on the NBFR
- NBFR RT LN up to the center skips is closed so that crews can have full width of the paving at the north tie – Loop 340 intersection.
- 5th st NB onramp
- Off ramp to 77 to build the new on ramp north of Forest St.
- MLK ramp permanently closed to switch traffic to the new on ramp north of Forest St
- 7th Street on ramp at mile marker 334.0 since traffic will be in the new 17th St temporary on ramp.
- 5th Street off ramp to switch traffic to the new off ramp.
- The temporary off ramp to US84.
- Entrance ramp at US 84.
- Exit ramp at US 77, mile marker 337.0.
- Right Lane on the SBFR North of 17th street.
- Left lane at 5th street heading east from the SBFR.
- S 8th St Pedestrian Bridge
- Exit Ramp University Parks
- Main lanes of US 77 Eastbound.
- Left lane of EB Buss 77.
- Two right lanes of WB BUS 77 from the off ramp at Station 13+00 to the NBFR.
- Main lane of US77 Westbound.
- The left lane and the left turning lane US 77 West.
Bicyclists and pedestrians traveling to and from Baylor and the downtown side of I-35 must use the crosswalks under 4th/5th Streets or University Parks Drive and should not attempt to cross the interstate on foot.
I-35 Accidents & Traffic
Although road closures frequently change, possibly lengthening drivers’ commutes, it is temporary. The I-35 construction project is nearing its end, with the goal being to reduce traffic congestion and enhance safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. In 2018, there were 20,401 traffic crashes along I-35 in Texas, which resulted in 153 deaths and 471 serious injuries. The leading causes of fatal accidents were speeding and pedestrians failing to yield the right of way to vehicles.
For example, in December 2022, a 51-year-old man was the victim of a fatal accident on I-35 northbound when he crossed the interstate on foot and was struck by a driver. In another accident in the same month, a pickup truck driver died in a single-vehicle crash due to speeding and losing control while traveling southbound on I-35 in Georgetown.
How To Check Real Time Traffic/Accidents for I-35 Waco
To check the current traffic and any reported accidents on the I-35 in Waco, a real time traffic map is available that also lists lane closure information and project status. Alternatively, you can follow the I-35 TxDOT PIOs Twitter account for traffic and construction alerts.
What To Do After an Accident on I-35
These are some of the most critical steps to take after a car accident on the I-35:
- Stay at the scene and call 911 to get medical assistance if you or anyone involved is hurt.
- If you do not require emergency medical care, call the police so an officer will come to the scene and create an accident report, which can help you prove fault.
- Do not move vehicles or injured persons unless you must due to safety concerns.
- Take photos & videos for evidence.
- Exchange information with all drivers involved and any witnesses.
- Seek medical care as soon as you leave the scene and continue any ongoing treatment recommended by your doctor.
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
Speak to a Waco car accident lawyer for advice on your legal options and help obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries.