UPDATE (5:44 p.m.): TxDOT said crews were re-opening I-35, but it would take time for the backup to clear because traffic was congested for more than six miles.
The Texas Department of Transportation announced an emergency closure Friday -- shutting down I-35 southbound main lanes in Bruceville-Eddy for at least six to eight hours.
Water had seeped into pot holes, frozen, expanded and formed larger holes in the old pavement, according to TxDOT. The wet weather had been preventing construction crews from fixing the issue, which ballooned into a larger problem.
That issue culminated in Friday's full emergency closure on the southbound side of the interstate from the new N. Eddy crossing down to FM 107/SH 7 in Bruceville-Eddy. Drivers were being forced off before Exit 315, where they were being detoured onto the access road. But, TxDOT Spokesperson Jodi Wheatley highly recommended seeking alternate routes or hopping off the interstate well before that point.
"It's very crowded. People are moving. But, it's very slow," Wheatley said.
As of early Friday afternoon, construction workers had finished grinding up the damaged asphalt. And, they were in the process of laying the new asphalt. Wheatley said the repairs process was being slowed down by cold weather.
Here is the recommended alternate route:
- Take exit 328 just south of Waco
- Take FM 2113 south to Moody
- Turn right onto FM 107 West to FM 317 South
- Stay on 317 to SH 36, where you can turn left (east) to Loop 363 in Temple
- Or, stay on 36 into downtown Temple
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.