Ah, the weekend. Your time to get away from workaday drudgery, head out into the scorching heat and pay $14 for two eggs and toast because you forgot you'd rather sleep than go out to brunch. They aren't perfect, especially in North Texas' midsummer blast furnace, but Saturdays and Sundays beat the heck out of Mondays and Tuesdays.
Except this weekend, if you're trying to get anywhere on Interstate 35E near downtown Dallas.
Beginning Friday night at 9, all lanes of I-35E will shut down at Beckley Avenue. They won't reopen until Monday morning at 5. Both the Zang Boulevard and 12th Street overpasses will be shut down as well. Basically, you're stuck where you are this weekend if you're trying to get from Dallas to anywhere south of Dallas or from anywhere south of Dallas to Dallas.
Zang Boulevard, 12th Street and Clarendon Drive will serve as detours for all drivers foolhardy enough to get on the freeway anyway this weekend.
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The highway is being closed to allow for the demolition of the Beckley Avenue overpass, which is being replaced as part of the $666 million Southern Gateway project. When the Southern Gateway is finished, I-35E will grow from four to five lanes both northbound and southbound for the 11-mile stretch that the project covers. Additional lanes will be added to a portion of U.S. 67 as well.
This weekend's shutdown is only the latest traffic slowdown created by the project. HOV lanes on I-35E closed in March and aren't expected to reopen until the project is completed in 2021.