WACO, Texas – Senator John Cornyn stopped by Waco Monday morning to see the current Interstate 35 expansion project. He also spoke with city leaders about future projects.

“Infrastructure is important to our state and to our nation, because this is where we improve public safety – by making sure our roads are safe. We improve air quality so we don’t have traffic lingering in places like this, and we keep our economy moving,” says Senator Cornyn.

The Interstate 35 expansion project has been ongoing since 2019. The project is expected to speed up traffic through Waco, by expanding the interstate to keep up with the city’s growing population.

“McLennan County has grown by over nine percent in the last decade, and Mayor Meek, as you know, our projections show that the City of Waco is going to grow by 50 percent by 2045,” says Bruce Bugg Jr, Chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission.

But the project is pricy.

“This project alone is about a half-a-billion dollar project,” says Bugg.

While this project has already been paid for and is about a year away from completion, other roadway improvements throughout Waco and McLennan County are sitting on the back burner waiting for funding.

“We don’t like to talk about being ahead of schedule, because it kind of jinxes us sometimes. But right now, we are ahead of schedule. We would like to get further along in the schedule. The hard part is done, which is the underground, and we don’t have a lot of unknowns out there that we may have had when we first started. We are looking at a late ’22 completion, maybe a little bit sooner,” says Stan Swiatek, Waco District Engineer with the Texas Department of Transportation.

Senator Cornyn saying he was happy with what he saw.

“Stan [Swiatek] said we are ahead of schedule, which is almost unheard of – especially in D.C. Nothing runs ahead of schedule in D.C. I’m proud of our folks here at TxDOT, and the contractors working here, to make sure this project is ahead of schedule,” says Senator Cornyn.

Senator Cornyn did criticize President Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure plan on Monday – calling it a “cotton candy plan.”