TxDOT warns of congestion ahead of I-35 weekend shutdown

Drivers will be diverted to access road at North New Braunfels Avenue exits

It may be a good idea to avoid Interstate 35 on the East Side this weekend as the Texas Department of Transportation prepares to shut down a half-mile section for a bridge-repair project.

The Texas Department of Transportation will shut down I-35 in both directions at the New Braunfels Avenue exit from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, as crews tear down half of the North New Braunfels Avenue bridge. The shutdown will have a brief window Saturday evening and night to allow for traffic to and from the Spurs game.

Drivers will still be able to travel the I-35 route, but they will diverted to the access road for more than a half-mile, and a TxDOT spokesman anticipates it will be a mess.

"Honestly, it's not going to be fun," said Josh Donat, San Antonio TxDOT spokesman. "I expect backups on the main lanes, probably a mile. Just a rough guess from the hip."

Donat said officers will keep traffic moving at the North New Braunfels intersection, and drivers should be able to turn right from the access road.

They won't be able to cross the bridge at all over the weekend, though. So drivers will need to cross I-35 at either North Walters or North Pine Street. Big rigs will need to take Austin Street instead of North Pine Street.

The only thing the shutdown will break for over the weekend will be the Spurs game against Charlotte on Saturday. TxDOT will open up the highway between 4:30 p.m. and midnight.

"We'll keep the bridge closed, but we're going to re-open I-35 so traffic can get to and from the Spurs game," Donat said.

Apart from that window, drivers should expect plenty of congestion.

"If I live in the area, this would be a great weekend to binge watch on Netflix or something," Donat said.

Drivers who have to be out, though, will either need to find a different route or suffer through the traffic.

Gabriel Newton normally takes I-35 to his work downtown, but he won't this weekend.

"I'm probably going to have to take a lot of extra time just to get to work and avoid this because I don't want to be late, and yeah, it's an inconvenience," Newton said.

The highway and bridge should open up again by 5 a.m. Monday, just in time to curse the normal amount of traffic.

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