Heavy traffic could sack fans' trips to Cotton Bowl


by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE


Posted on October 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 11:17 AM

AUSTIN -- If you want to make it to the Red River Rivalry in Dallas before kickoff this weekend, you may need to hit the road sooner rather than later.

Traveling on Interstate 35 this weekend could give football fans a big headache. Dozens of road construction projects are underway on I-35 between Austin and Hillsboro.

If that isn't enough to slow drivers down, just add in the volume of thousands of fans headed to the Cotton Bowl. The Texas Department of Transportation is taking some steps to help ease the problem.

From Friday at 7 a.m. through Monday at 7 p.m., workers will not be on the roads because projects are suspended. However there will still be reduced speed limits and closed lanes.

The construction is part of a major expansion project to make a 94-mile section of the road six lanes wide instead of four. Crews are also building median barriers, frontage roads and a ramp on the widened road.

TxDOT is asking drivers to pack their patience along with their game gear.

"We don't want you to get frustrated because you are going to have some delays. We just want you to plan ahead, find an alternate route and celebrate or be happy with the impending victory, and don't worry about the construction," Spokeswoman Kelli Reyna said.

If drivers want to try and avoid traffic, TxDOT suggests different routes. From Austin they can take Highway 79 East to Highway 77 North in Rockdale. From there they can take Loop 340 around Waco, Highway 31 to Corsicana and Highway 45 North to Dallas.

Another option is to take I-35 to Exit 343 in Waco, which is FM 308. That road re-joins I-35 near Carl's Corner.

Kickoff for the big game is at 11 a.m. Saturday.