The Texas Department of Transportation is closing one of the busiest exits in Temple... for a year.
The department will shut down exit 301 on North I-35 Saturday, Nov. 11, at 9 p.m. Drivers looking to get to West Adams Avenue from North I-35 will have to use exit 300 and stay on the access road.
Some Central Texas business leaders have complained the new detour will cause major delays and hurt the local economy. TxDOT however, claims the closure will shorten the work schedule on I-35 in central Temple by four months. Temple Mayor Danny Dunn has supported the closure for that reason.
"The alternate route that TxDOT has proposed, once it is completed it will add thirty seconds to the Travel time to the central Avenue exit, and it will take you right to where you get out at West Adams," Dunn told Channel 6.
After timing the new route along the access road, Channel 6 discovered the route will add at least a minute to the normal commute from I-35 to West Adams Avenue in light traffic.
Drivers will take exit 300, drive down to Avenue H, and then take a new bridge over the railroad to West Adams Avenue. The Avenue H intersection will no longer go under the highway.
TxDOT said exit 301 will be replaced in around a year after the highway project in central Temple is completed.