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I-35 frontage road closing, effecting local restaurant

POSTED: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 1:11pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 6:11pm

WACO -- It's a 30-year old Waco tradition on the Brazos River, and next to one of the busiest highways in the state.

But getting to Buzzard Billy's just got a lot more difficult.

"What's going to be closed is just the section of access road from Martin Luther King jr. boulevard down to the edge of the river where the turn around comes up under the highway. that's on the southbound side, the side where the restaurant is," TxDot I-35 information specialist, Jodie Wheatley said.

"It's going to slow the business down there's no doubt about it," owner of the Waco Buzzard Billy's Restaurant, Tracy Maughan said.

Starting Wednesday, the southbound frontage road that goes to Buzzard Billy's will be closed for the next 3 to 6 months. For some Central Texas businesses, the construction has caused them to relocate or close.

"There will always maintain access to the businesses, it's just going to look a little different for a while," Wheatley said.

But the restaurant says that won't be the case for them.

"I believe Buzzard Billy's is going to be in Waco for a long, long time," Maughan said.

By Fall of 2014, the new frontage bridges crossing the Brazos are expected to make the construction and parking problems all worth it.

"Traffic will actually be able to flow if there's a wreck or a stalled vehicle near or on the bridge," Wheatley said.

"I think it's all a good thing, it's going to do nothing but help the city of Waco, and Buzzard Billy's," Maughan said.

TxDot says the best way to avoid confusion is to watch the signs.

There is now a new road that connects to the turnaround under I-35 that will now be two ways.

When coming southbound I-35, you will still exit MLK but take a left instead of going straight. There will then be signs directing you to take a right on a new road that will take you under the highway to Buzzard Billy's.

To see the full map, visit


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