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Baylor Stadium construction brings change to neighborhood

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TWC News: Baylor Stadium construction brings change to neighborhood
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While construction crews are still working on the new football stadium at Baylor University, the project is already changing Waco.

"When I was coming up as a child, there wasn't even a park here, it was just a field where we played ball,” Lena Bolridge said.

Bolridge has lived in Olive Heights almost her entire life. She knows that her neighborhood won't be the same with the new Baylor football stadium nearby.

"It's going to change it a whole lot,” Bolridge said. “I think about that all the time."

Construction is racing ahead, and the first game in the new stadium is expected in 2014.

The north shore of the Brazos is being transformed and soon, so will the neighborhood in the area.

"We're talking about a stadium, so we’re talking about more traffic, more people," neighbor Wannika Muhammad said.

But Muhammad feels like she's being left in the dark.

"They have been meeting with us, but the meetings have been kind of like, OK, I really don't know a whole lot more than I knew at the last meeting and that's frustrating me."

She says it's tough to run a small business with so much uncertainty.

"I don't know what's going to happen from day to day, and I need to know these things," she said.

Traffic planners say everyone will get a chance to have their say.

"We've got a planning process that goes back 50, 60 years,” Chris Avila with the Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization said. “We’re happy that we're now seeing the fruits of some of those labors."

Baylor has hired a consultant to design traffic solutions around the neighborhoods near the stadium. The same firm designed the traffic flow around Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Preliminary designs and plans are expected in late January.

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