NO. 8 ROAD: A Texas Marvel

Dec. 5, 2023
The IH-35 reconstruction project was completed early thanks to coordination and innovation

The Interstate Highway 35 reconstruction project — Texas’ third representative on our list of Top 10 Roads of 2023 — is another important corridor with an impressive scope.

Construction began on the corridor’s Waco portion in April 2019. The contract included widening and reconstructing 6.7 miles of IH-35 from Craven Road to 12th Street, a section of which crosses over the Brazos River.

The breadth of this project included the construction of 22 bridges. Workers removed the existing concrete main lanes in each direction. This was replaced with four lanes of continuously reinforced concrete pavement (north and southbound). Concrete frontage roads also were reconstructed. Webber was the project’s contractor.

"We are honored to have been selected as one of the Top 10 Roads of 2023. This is a recognition of the excellent performance, finishing ahead of schedule, and innovations developed by our Waco IH-35 team,” said Jose Carlos Esteban, Webber president & CEO. “Since the beginning of this project, our team worked strategically and diligently to ensure its successful and timely completion, and we are proud of how our work and collaboration with all parties involved has helped advance the development of the IH-35 corridor, which is so vital to the state of Texas.”

By the project was completed, the team had installed more than 132,000 linear feet of reinforced concrete box culverts and pipe, electrical, concrete flatwork, landscape, irrigation, and pavement marking throughout the corridor. 

Teamwork and comradery played a significant role when challenges arose, including working over the Brazos River. The team’s coordination enabled them to streamline the demolition process and beam set operations that needed to be performed using barges and tugboats.

Barges and bulkheads were used to provide stable work surface. The project team coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as owner and operator of the Lake Whitney Dam for control of the increase and decrease of flow to protect equipment and crews. 

Webber workers used a double stabber for the 15 continuously reinforced concrete pavement. This was a custom-made attachment to the paver. It inserted two tie-bars into the fresh concrete pavement. This new capability allowed crews to be more efficient while also bringing significant savings to the project.

The project was located near Baylor University. Minimizing disruptions to the traveling public and local businesses proved to be a challenge. Through coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation, as well as Baylor University, a traffic control design plan allowed the team to cover more areas of work simultaneously.

Thanks to the expert coordination and dedication of the large team involved, the project opened five months ahead of schedule. RB

Project Name: IH-35 Reconstruction McLennan County 

Project Location: Waco, TX 

Owners: Texas Department of Transportation 

Designer: Texas Department of Transportation 

Contractors: Webber, LLC 

Cost: $372 million 

Length: 6.7 miles 

Completion Date: December 2022