Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News
Weekend construction in Denton could be a nightmare for drivers on I-35E as the highway is shutdown in both directions near Apogee Stadium at the University of North Texas.
A short section of Interstate 35E will be shut down this weekend while crews install a pedestrian bridge connecting the University of North Texas main campus with its athletic complex.
Both directions of I-35E will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Sunday between West Oak and McCormick streets.
The Texas Department of Transportation recommends drivers who plan to be in the area figure out another route or prepare for potentially long delays.
"This is where three major highways converge -- I-35W, I-35E and I-35 -- so that is always sort of an interesting combination in that intersection anyway, and this is probably going to cause a backup," TxDOT spokeswoman Michelle Releford said.
A couple of drivers at a gas station near the affected area said they weren't aware of the coming shutdown. Now that they know, they said they would likely stay home or avoid that section of I-35E.
"What we are going to do with the traffic is, divert it onto the frontage road," Releford said. "Drivers will go past where the construction is happening, and they'll re-enter the highway. That's one lane, so you take everyone traveling on I-35E looking to go somewhere and bottle them down to one lane -- that is going to cause a backup."
Releford said the smartest option is to find another route and avoid the area.
The $2.5 million pedestrian bridge, which will be a better, safer connector for students and faculty going from the main campus to the athletic complex, will open in September.