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Friday, July 14

Holy smokes, those ramps around Rittiman are (almost) done!

The new entrance and exit ramps along I-35 surrounding Rittiman Road will be finished and open for use this weekend as the long-running project to improve the operation of the corridor between Windcrest and SAMMC moves closer to completion.

What's happening?
The biggest change is the northbound exit to Rittiman, which will now be located nearer to George Beach and serve traffic headed to Space Center Drive as well. This allows us to eliminate the existing northbound exit to Rittiman and get rid of that weird competition between traffic headed to Rittiman Road and traffic merging onto northbound I-35 from northbound I-410.
Other changes include swapping the exit and entrance ramps between Rittiman and Eisenhauer (more on that in a moment). That means those entering northbound I-35 from Rittiman will do so near Eisenhauer.
On the southbound side we'll have the new exit ramp to Rittiman - located right after the Eisenhauer overpass - ready to roll as well as the new entrance ramp.
With all the ramps involving Rittiman opened up and in use, we'll be able to remove the existing northbound exit to Rittiman Road and get crews to work adding all the needed auxiliary lanes and get the northbound I-410 connector to northbound I-35 finished up.

When is this happening?
July 15 - that's this Saturday - is when all this is going down. We'll start super early in the morning and have everything in place midday.

Eisenhauer Road
We said we'd get back to this one! We still have work to do to get the ramps opened around Eisenhauer. Project staff estimates we'll have those ramps opened up by mid-August. That will open opportunities for crews to finish the auxiliary lanes over the Eisenhauer overpass.

Walzem Road
We will continue with our nightly and weekend closures of Walzem Road at I-35 through the summer as we extend the Walzem overpass to carry the auxiliary lanes at that location.

Auxiliary lanes
So, what exactly are these auxiliary lanes of which we're speaking? Well, they're an extra lane on the highway, typically between interchanges, allowing drivers more time to merge. They help by getting entering or exiting traffic away from through traffic, giving through traffic a clean lane or two to push through the corridor.