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TxDOT Teams with Make-A-Wish for Flyover Implosion

Six-year-old Archer Foltermann reacts after pushing the ceremonial detonator to implode a portion of the northbound I-35 to northbound US 183 flyover.
Six-year-old Archer Foltermann reacts after pushing the ceremonial detonator to implode a portion of the northbound I-35 to northbound US 183 flyover.
AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) enlisted the help of a six-year-old boy to bring down part of an existing flyover for reconstruction. TxDOT partnered with Make-A-Wish to give Archer Foltermann the opportunity to help TxDOT implode sections of the northbound I-35 to northbound US 183 flyover by pushing the ceremonial detonator at sunrise.

“I blew up a bridge,” Foltermann said. “It was fun, and it was loud!”

Archer, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) just before his first birthday, is described as a firecracker who refuses to let cancer slow him down.

During the demolition, TxDOT temporarily closed both directions of the I-35 and US 183 mainlanes, and frontage roads at the I-35/US 183 interchange to safely demolish two flyover spans. Then crews imploded a single span of the flyover.

The existing flyover was built with a steep grade, causing large trucks to slow down and delay traffic. TxDOT is reconstructing the flyover to lessen the incline, improving safety, mobility, and traffic flow for all users. To accommodate reconstruction, a long-term detour has been put into place.

This $124.2-million Texas Clear Lanes project began construction in 2018 and is anticipated to be complete in mid-2021.

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