I-35 Expansion Through Salado Comes to a Conclusion
SALADO, TX With more than 50 people looking on, and an entire town waiting in anticipation, the small town of Salado, Texas, celebrated the end of a long road with the I-35 expansion ribbon cutting.
Salado Mayor Skip Blancett led the ceremony, introducing the people who represented the integral parts of the finished product. "Whoever thought the sound of traffic would be good," a smiling Blancett said.
The I-35 expansion project came to Salado in the summer of 2012. Traffic demands through the area had risen exponentially, with a boom in commercial truck traffic and regional population growth. The need for a wider highway in the corridor had come.
"This portion of the corridor sees $1.3 trillion per year in commerce travel on I-35, which is the main connection from Mexico to Canada," TxDOT Director of District Operations Randy Hopmann said. The mainlanes portion of the project finally wrapped up in November of 2016, and the end result is an efficient, functional and "beautiful highway all of us can enjoy for decades to come."
The 3.4 miles of the Salado portion of I-35, from FM 2843 to FM 2484, was completely rebuilt, expanded from four lanes to six, frontage roads were converted from two-way to one-way, and ramps were upgraded.
More than four years of construction took its toll on the community, but the endurance of the Salado community, TxDOT, and James Construction Group that made it possible has not gone unnoticed.
"Texas is the state of boom and bust, and the Salado community is a community that keeps moving forward," said Congressman John Carter as he turned toward the highway. "This highway is gorgeous, it improves our life, and now there will be a bright, shining light on this side of I-35 to show how Texans prosper."