University Parks Drive Reopened

Created on June 07, 2024 at 09:00 AM


After nearly four years of construction, University Parks Drive from Interstate 35 to Jackson Ave. has been reopened. The newly constructed road serves as a gateway or welcome for visitors and residents to the downtown and riverfront areas. Throughout the construction process, over 260 residential units, 16,000 square feet of retail space, 400 public parking spaces, and Baylor University's Foster Pavilion basketball arena have made their home in Downtown Waco.

Keep in mind that even though University Parks Drive is reopened, the riverfront development is still ongoing. A few ongoing projects will continue to result in closures. However, the entire road will not be closed for these updates.

Road to Construction

Aerial view of the Foster Pavilion under construction City Council's vision for University Parks Drive was to enhance the riverfront experience for residents and visitors with shopping, dining, living, and relaxing along the river. The project initially started in early 2020 and later expanded with a private/public partnership with Baylor University and the City to create a new basketball venue with adequate public and private parking. 

The multi-phase and multi-year construction project required “underground-up” improvements starting 35 feet deep. The all-new corridor features upgraded infrastructure, including water, sewer, storm drainage, and utilities, in addition to new roads, landscaping, irrigation, Baylor University's Foster Pavilion, a parking garage, and other buildings for future developments.

Like many complex projects, construction was delayed due to the physical limitations created by the limited space within the river, railroad, and Interstate 35, in addition to material shortages, inflation, and the pandemic. We appreciate your patience as we work to create a downtown destination for both residents and visitors.

Future Projects

Construction in the area is expected to continue for the next two years. The City will continue to invest in an updated Lake Brazos Park and a new Riverwalk section from Jackson Ave. through Interstate 35 and to Baylor Law. Construction on additional private/public restaurants, apartments, mixed-use facilities will also be occurring concurrently.