Construction on I-35 at Hwy. 123 project in San Marcos gets underway

TxDOT breaks ground on the $107 million I-35 at Hwy. 123 project in San Marcos. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT breaks ground on the $107 million I-35 at Hwy. 123 project in San Marcos. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)

TxDOT breaks ground on the $107 million I-35 at Hwy. 123 project in San Marcos. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Texas Department of Transportation broke ground on its I-35 at Hwy. 123 project Aug. 3.

The project aims to improve congestion and safety in the rapidly growing San Marcos area. It includes intersection improvements at I-35 and Hwy. 123 as well as ramp reversals along I-35 between Hwy. 80 and RM 12.

“Our population is growing, and there are more visitors coming to our city, so it's vital that we meet the needs of this ever-increasing volume of traffic safety, and this project will satisfy those increased demands and meet the needs of our growing city,” San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson said.

According to the TxDOT website, the transportation agency will also reverse two ramps along the northbound frontage road between Hwy. 80 and Hwy. 123 and reverse one on the southbound frontage road of the same stretch. It will also realign the southbound exit ramp to Hwy. 123.

TxDOT Austin District Engineer Tucker Ferguson said the ramp reversals will enhance safety in the increasingly congested region.

“If you have the traditional diamond intersections, a lot of traffic getting off it could potentially back up onto the main lanes, so really it's a safety issue when you have high volumes of traffic,” he said. “It gives us more capacity to store people coming off on the frontage road.”

In addition to ramp and intersection construction, the project intends to make improvements to bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along the frontage roads and reconstruct the frontage road bridges over Willow Springs Creek.

The project is a part of the Mobility 35 program, which aims to improve I-35 along a 79-mile stretch that goes through Hays, Williamson and Travis counties.

“This is the 20th project we've broken ground on in the last 10 years of developing the Mobility 35 program,” Ferguson said.

The groundbreaking comes amid a flurry of I-35 projects, as TxDOT is currently evaluating a major overhaul of the stretch from SH 45 N to SH 45 SE in Austin as well as major projects in the New Braunfels area.

According to the TxDOT website, construction for the project at Hwy. 123 is estimated to cost $107 million, with funding coming from TxDOT and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. More intensive construction is scheduled to start in late 2021, and construction is anticipated to be complete in early 2025.

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct Tucker Ferguson's title.

By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.


San Marcos City Council adopted increases in property tax, utilities and the city budget for FY 2021-22 on Sept. 21. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos City Council adopts increases in utility rates, taxes and FY 22 budget

The increase of $0.01 to the property tax rate means the council was able to adopt a budget of $260,468,834 for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.

Photo of people attending ACL Fest
City of Austin approves ACL health and safety plan, holds off on final permit

Austin Public Health gave ACL the go-ahead to allow proof of vaccination in lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, but asked organizers to require masking in some areas.

The Buda City Council adopted the 2021-22 tax rate and budget on Sep. 20. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper).
Buda City Council approves tax rate, budget and parks master plan

A new tax rate, budget and park master plan adopted for the City of Buda at their Sep. 20 meeting.

Dr. Rosina Valle spoke on the importance of the Centro community center at the Sep. 20 meeting of the San Marcos CISD school board. (Photo courtesy SMCISD)
SMCISD hearing on possible sale of Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos property brings dozens of supporters to meeting Sep. 20

The school district is in the process of having the property appraised but has not made a decision on whether to sell or continue to rent it out to Centro.

Wayback Burgers specializes in cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
Wayback Burgers coming to Leander; fire kills 75 dogs in Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Shoppers can customize bouquets with additions like this Batman emblem. (Photos by Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local florist Kyle Flower Shop awarded best small business by the city

Kyle Flower Shop sell custom floral arrangements, succulents and small ficus trees.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

UFCU pledged up to $100,000 in scholarships to Texas State University students for the 2021-22 school year. (Joe Warner/ Community Impact Newspaper)
UFCU pledges $100,000 in scholarships to Texas State students

In a statement, UFCU CEO Tony Budet expressed the passion the company has to strengthen the local communities and students, both on and off the field.

The cheeseburger and fries combo ($11) is served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and condiments on the side. (Photos By Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Willie's Joint restaurant offers burgers, live music and more

Since 2013, Willie's Joint has served as a main street family style bar and restaurant in the heart of Buda.

A volunteer unloads food from a truck during the Central Texas Food Bank's April 4 event to feed families in need at Nelson Field in Austin. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank delivering boxes of food directly to homes through 2021

Some families will be eligible to have boxes with food for 25 meals delivered by Amazon.