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I-35 project next week will cause major traffic delays near SAMMC

April 7 through April 10, Rittiman through George Beach closed both directions

SAN ANTONIO – Phase by phase, the Texas Department of Transportation is trying to finish a multi-year project that will eventually alleviate Interstate 35 traffic. One phase will hit San Antonians hard next week.

The I-35 headache is familiar to anyone who lives in San Antonio.

"It's terrible. Real bad. It can take all day long to get to where you gotta go," said Izaeah Larue Rogers, a long-time local.

It's even familiar to people who don't live in San Antonio.

"I come here about once a month. As soon as I got here, my GPS changed from getting to town in like 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Forty-five minutes right away," said Hector Cisneros, who travels to San Antonio from Brownsville for work.

The multi-phase project to lessen traffic on I-35 has been slow-going, but the necessary steps continue is something drivers won't find so pleasant.

Crews will be replacing the current bridge that connects I-35 South to Loop 410. The new connector has been sitting next to the freeways for about a year, since TxDOT changed the Loop 410 ramp from a left side exit to a right side exit. That stopped cars from slowing the highway down while trying to cross all lanes.

TxDOT is ready to finish the job and move on. Next week, starting Friday April 7, I-35 between Rittiman Road and George Beach Avenue will be closed in both directions. This will be happening from 9 p.m. Friday, April 7 until 5 a.m. Monday, April 10. TxDOT officials said the traffic will be terrible for a few days.

Silver and Black fans are not to worry, though. On the evening of Saturday, April 8, all lanes will be temporarily re-opened for the Spurs/Clippers game.

This piece of the project is only estimated to alleviate traffic by two-three minutes, but once it's done, crews will finally be able to move on to bigger parts of the project that will majorly reduce congestion.

"It's going to be bad at least while they're fixing it, but I guess it will help out. Anything to help out that traffic," Rogers said.

After next week's job, there will be at least six more along I-35 before the entire project is finished. Most are exit and entrance ramps between Rittiman and Walzem roads, but there is also an additional lane going in between Rittiman and Randolph Boulevard. The whole project is expected to be done by the end of this year.

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About the Author:

Courtney Friedman

Courtney Friedman joined KSAT 12 News in August 2014 as a general assignments reporter. She graduated as a proud Longhorn from the University of Texas, with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. In 2013, she was nominated for a Barbara Jordan Award for her stories about people with disabilities in the workplace.