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New I-35 Widening Project Underway
 Motorists traveling on Interstate 35 south of Hillsboro will be seeing changes as signs started going up last week on the latest widening project.

Right-of-way has been acquired by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) between farm roads 310 and 1304.
The first stage of the new 4.5-mile-long project will be moving and widening the service roads along the highway.
Under federal law, adequate space must remain between the main lanes of traffic and service roads which required the relocation.
Once completed, the current two-way configuration will become one-way. 
After work on the frontage roads is completed, the main lanes will be widened to three lanes in each direction.
Since the section of roadway in question was reconstructed several years ago, only new shoulders will have to be added to complete the widening project.

Impact to traffic on the main lanes is expected to be minimal when compared to a regular widening project where all lanes have to be reconstructed.
Plans are to keep daytime lane closures to a minimum, with a goal of keeping two lanes in each direction open at all times.
TxDOT mobility coordinators will be working with contractor W.W. Webber Construction to coordinate any required lane closures.

Dynamic signs with programmable messages will be installed along the highway to keep motorists informed.
The crossroads at farm roads 310 and 1304 and Chatt Road will be rebuilt under the bridges, adding more lanes and U-turn bays.

The project calls for several ramps to be relocated, along with some bridge overpass widening and repair of the road surfaces leading up to the bridges. However, the overpasses do not need to be rebuilt. That shortens the expected time required for project completion to a little over two years in the fall of 2012. 

Preparations are also being made for the addition of two new safety rest stops south of Chatt Road.

Contracts on the rest stops are not expected to be let until near the end of the widening project, but preliminary work will be included in the current contract.

Some dirt work will be completed, and water and wastewater lines, along with a lift station for the sewer, will be installed.
Webber is currently completing the widening of I-35 from Old Brandon Road to Farm Road 310 in Hillsboro. That section is expected to be finished before the end of the year.