As the month of October crept up on us, so did the three and a half-year construction project for I-35E.
Leaders in the Denton County community gathered together for the project’s official groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday.
The event was held at the former Copperas Branch Park, which is now one of the key construction staging sites for the project.
Attendees and speakers of the event included State Senator Jane Nelson, State Representatives Myra Crownover and Tan Parker, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Executive Director Phil Wilson and Texas Transportation Commissioners Jeff Austin and Victor Vandergriff.
Denton Mayor and Chamber Chair Board Mark Burroughs and Chamber of Commerce President Chuck Carpenter also attended the ceremony.
Various speakers at the event addressed public concerns as to how long the construction will take, how it will affect local businesses, what areas along the interstate will be affected and how to overcome any obstacles this project may entail.
A 28-mile stretch of I-35E between U.S. Highway 380 and I-635 is expected to be under construction for the next three and a half years.
Improvements being made to the major interstate include lane expansion, frontage road accessibility, addition of pedestrian bridges and a new southbound bridge over Lewisville Lake.
According to Denton County Commissioner Ron Marchant, improvements to the interstate will first begin on Belt Line Road, F.M. 407 and Lewisville Lake.
The project will directly impact businesses in eight different municipalities, seven of which are in Denton County.
Later on, specific areas in the City of Denton that will be affected by the construction include roadways along Bonnie Brae Road, Mayhill Road and McCormick Street.
State Senator Jane Nelson said the community needs to work together in order for this project to be successful.
“Transportation is critical,” Nelson said. “No single piece of infrastructure in this area is greater than I-35. We cannot survive economically unless it (I-35) is functioning at its best.”
TxDOT’s Phil Wilson said he is proud to be a part of this project.
Wilson said that as the construction process continues over the next couple years, the community has access to the latest developments on their website, Facebook and Twitter page.
by: Brianna Vela
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