Carbon-izer.com - I-35 in Bell County
Interstate 35 in Bell County

This follows on from I-35 in Waco (the bottom of the page), and is intended to connect the Waco pages to Bastrop. Version 4.0 renames the page to "I-35 in Bell County".

It adds Future Cues, Valero (at Midway Drive), Pizza Hut (in Belton), and Whataburger (in Belton). It also updates Shell (in Troy; the destruction was understated), Love's (updated name), Long John Silver's (now Dutch Bros), Bell County Motoworks (fixed typo), and Golden Corral. As of this update, this has 45 entries.

FM 459 to FM 1237

There's a residential neighborhood to the north of here, but this is where next overpass is. Fixing a decades-old design error, the rebuild of this overpass finally had Big Elm Road continue straight instead of veering north and curving around. This is where Troy, Texas is.

Anderson Auto Salvage / 13683 N. Interstate 35
Like the entries toward the bottom of the Waco page, there just aren't a lot of landmarks between overpasses. There is another overpass just to the south of here, but it doesn't seem to have a name or a dedicated exit/entrance set.

Shell / 5 North Central Avenue
The I-35 widening made a mess of Troy, taking out a variety of businesses on the north side of the freeway (a row of several whole blocks), but this gas station (with a "Pit Stop" convenience store) opened in 2012.

Love's Travel Center / 1610 Cotton Gin Road
This Troy truck stop opened in December 2017. The truck stop features McDonald's and Subway as food options. Despite the "Loves Boulevard" crossing the freeway (added in the mid-2010s widening), it is not accessible off of that road.


FM 1237 to WEST NUGENT AVENUE

Somewhere in the northern part of this section, I-35 assumes its name in Temple—General Bruce Parkway.

Mueller Inc. / 7050 N. General Bruce Drive
The Temple branch of this metal roofing company is a modern building, completed in 2012. The old Mueller building, destroyed in the widening, is just south of here.

Lucky's RV Park / 111 Hart Road
RV park. Nearby at, 6278 North General Bruce Drive, is the site of Lucky's Truck Stop (possibly common ownership). The store, an Exxon brand, was torn down in widening but some old, debranded canopies still remain.

Burger King / 4405 N. General Bruce Drive
This Burger King opened in early 2019. It's part of a new development at the northeast section of NE HK Dodgen and I-35.

Taco Bell / 4331 N. General Bruce Dr.
This Taco Bell opened in very late 2019 or early 2020.

Starbucks / 4307 N. General Bruce Dr.
According to StarbucksEverywhere, this location opened in March 2019.

CEFCO Travel Center / 12310 NW H.K. Dodgen Loop
This CEFCO still features Shell gas (most others have gone in-house with their own brand) but is a full truck stop and features Wendy's inside the store. It is CEFCO #43 and anchors the southwest corner of the Loop. It opened in the year 2000.

While it isn't quite the SW section as we previously covered, it does loop around to it, with the western part connecting directly and the eastern part looping around to intersect it southeast of Temple. The road itself ends in Elgin (as 95) or in Milano (as 36), depending on which direction you're going. At the northeast corner of the intersection, a Diamond Shamrock with Corner Store was here. It was converted to Valero later on (still with Corner Store) but was torn down in 2012.

Buc-ee's / 4155 N General Bruce Drive
Opening April 1, 2015, the Buc-ee's in Temple is...well, it's a Buc-ee's. It has to be seen to believed. We're talking about a convenience store the size of a grocery store here (but with more space devoted to restrooms).

Texas Inn / 3309 N. General Bruce Dr.
This small motel had to have a special driveway built for it after the construction which completely reconfigured the intersection. Originally, North 3rd Street merged straight into the freeway's frontage road going north with a ramp flyover going directly to it southbound, and shared some ramps with Industrial Boulevard, which crossed over the freeway.

Afterward, North 3rd simply curled and crossed over the freeway into Industrial Boulevard, with the older Industrial Boulevard segment on the east side being cut off. (This is a little confusing, so see the intersection BEFORE and AFTER).

You can see that Continental Inn (3300 N. General Bruce) on the other side of the freeway wasn't so lucky.

Carpenter / 2611 N. General Bruce Drive
As the overpass implies, this part of I-35 is mostly industrial. The Carpenter plant opened in 1966 per their website and does foam pouring for furniture, automobile seats, and other uses.

Rodeway Inn / 1610 W. Nugent Ave.
This hotel (according to an old Six Continents hotel directory I have) has three floors and 61 rooms, and was (orignally?) a Holiday Inn Express. It became Quality Inn in 2008, by 2013 was a Motel 6, and became Rodeway after 2019. The hotel next to it was originally Comfort Suites, then Baymont, then Quality Suites. (More detail another time). A motel across from the two, the Stratford House Inn, has another location elsewhere in Temple now, but this location at 1602 N. General Bruce was a sacrifice to I-35. The motel has been there under that name since 1988.

WEST NUGENT AVENUE to Railroad Overpass

Days Inn / 1104 North General Bruce Drive
Days Inn Temple has been here at least since the 1990s (gotta love their distinctive signage) but the freeway widening meant they had to compromise. The lobby building and pool area were lost in the widening, so a lobby had to be carved out of some motel rooms (looks to be about 6, three in the front and likely another three in the back) and a new pool hastily added behind the parking lot.

Knights Inn / 1100 N. General Bruce Drive
The I-35 widening bit off the front part of this motel. During the planning process of widening the freeway (late 2000s?) this was a Motel 6 and remained as such as late as November 2016. In the midst of all these motels (just to the west of Knights Inn) was a Kettle (though had served as a Denny's in recent years) at 1010 North General Bruce Drive.

Motel 6 / 802 N. General Bruce Drive
The occupant in the 2000s was a Travelodge and later spent some time as a Knights Inn (c. 2016, after widening; it jumped next door) and is now a Motel 6/Studio 6. Why Motel 6 and Knights Inn switched places is a complete mystery. The brands do not have common ownership.

411 North General Bruce Drive
Closer to downtown Temple is restaurants. First up was "Mad Mongo's Mongolian Grill" which closed several years ago (2012). The restaurant chronology has Shoney's, Jim's, Pancho's, and an Asian buffet here. More accurately, it was Shoney's from approximately 1993 to 1999, then converted to Jim's around this time (similar to the Waco Shoney's-turned-Jim's), but in 2005 Jim's closed and was replaced with Pancho's Mexican Buffet (an odd choice considering Pancho's was quite dated by that time). Pancho's closed in 2007 and was replaced with "Asian" (a Chinese buffet) until around 2008. Mad Mongo's opened in 2010 but closed in 2012, and it has been vacant since.

Tapa Tapa's / 301 N. General Bruce Drive
From what I can tell, Wendy's closed here in the mid-2010s and Tapa Tapa's opened around late 2019 or January 2020. It is just a Mexican restaurant, not an actual tapas bar.

Dutch Bros Coffee / 201 North General Bruce Drive
This was a Long John Silver's restaurant opened in the early 1980s, and even had the older logo. Sometime at the end of 2020 (or very early 2021) it closed. In 2021 it was torn down and rebuilt as a Dutch Bros Coffee location as the West Coast chain spreaded across Texas.

Whataburger / 115 North General Bruce Drive
Records indicate that this Whataburger was built and opened in 1993. It also may have been a Taco Bueno in the very early 1990s (it has this address), but it isn't known if this was a mistake and the Taco Bueno had actually replaced the Taco Villa (below).

111 North General Bruce Drive
This opened up as Taco Cabana around 1992 and became Starbucks about a decade later. Starbucks Everywhere shows this Starbucks and the one further north both operating simultaneously (and there are Yelp reviews for this store through 2019), so it's very likely it was a COVID-19 victim and closed in spring 2020. While the design of the building is one of Taco Cabana (built that way, Starbucks even kept part of the highway signage), the article regarding its 2001 opening implies that Taco Cabana was not the first fast food on the site, and Historic Aerials backs this up. It appears it was Taco Villa was back in the 1980s.

Ministry of Hope / 2001 W. Adams Avenue
This church used to be an Albertsons (#4222, originally 4242), closed in December 2004 and opened in 1979 as one of the early Albertsons stores opened in Texas post-Skaggs.

Future Cues / 102 S. General Bruce Drive
Future Cues, a pool hall and bar, opened here in 2011 (next to a church!). For years it was Dollar General (1995-2008), and was Ray Mart (1990-1995). Ray Mart is the corporate name of Tri-Supply Home Products (still with a store in the area), but it might have gone under the "Ray Mart Building Center" name when it was open here.

Railroad Overpass to SW H K DODGEN LOOP

Prior to the reconstruction of the highway, from this point almost to Loop 363 was an elevated viaduct with no exits or entrances, just a few entrances beneath the freeway. West Avenue H did go under the freeway originally (to Wilson Place) and had exit/entrance ramps to the east of it (for the whole system) but no longer. It still does have stoplights on the frontage road.

2275 West Avenue D
Former site of corporate offices & production facilities of Wilsonart (one of the largest makers of laminates in the world), and had the address of 2400 Wilson Place when it was operating here. They officially moved out around 2014, at which point most of the building was torn down in 2015. This wasn't related to the freeway construction, but the road it was officially located on (2400 Wilson Place) was eliminated, along with an office building next to what is now Best Quality Meats.

A bit of trivia is that Wilsonart was once part of the Kraft foods empire when its parent company since 1966, Dart Industries, was merged with Kraft Inc. in 1980 to form Dart and Kraft, though in 1986 that ended as Kraft spun off the non-food industry and renamed to Kraft once more (before being bought by Philip Morris Cos. and forced into a merger with their existing foods company, General Foods).

Best Quality Meat & Barbecue / 2418 S. General Bruce Drive
This opened around early 2014 replacing their old location down the street. The building formerly was Keg Lounge before Best Quality, and Best Quality had to change their address again. Formerly, this was 2410 Wilson Place but Wilson Place (the road) was eliminated as part of the I-35 project. The parking lot uses 2408 Wilson Place, Temple Towing Service, which moved to Shallow Creek Road in the early 2010s as it was condemned for road construction.

The above description is from Wikimapia again (similar to Fuego on the Waco page), back when I was writing for them instead of writing my own stuff. There's a number of clearances just west of here, including a Shell/CEFCO (2410 S. General Bruce Drive), Cen-Tex Alcoholic Rehab Center (2500 S. General Bruce Dr.), originally built as a motel, complete with a pool and lobby (it was "Jean Motel" from 1981 to 1985), and the old "Best Quality Meats & Sausage" at 2610 S. General Bruce Drive (opened here in May 2002 and closed in late 2013), Barrell (or Barrel) Inn at 2616 S. General Bruce (actually a bar), and Temple Inn at 2700 S. General Bruce, spread across two buildings.

Clem Mikeska's Bar-B-Q / 1217 S. 57th Street
This barbecue restaurant moved this large location in 2008, demolishing all but two buildings in the block. The cul-de-sac for West Avenue L took out another building on this block, Central Texas Kitchen Center, at 1201 S. 57th Street.

Natural Grocers / 3621 S. General Bruce Dr.
Temple-Killeen doesn't have many alternatives to H-E-B as far as grocery shopping goes, but this small grocery store opened in 2011.

Olive Garden / 3625 S. General Bruce Dr.
After closing several years back on Loop 363, this Olive Garden opened in spring 2008.

SW H K DODGEN LOOP to EAST 6TH STREET

We now meet back up with SW HK Dodgen Loop which we have previously written about.

3809 S. General Bruce Drive
This was a Kmart that operated from October 1974 to April 2003 (#3217) at 84,180 square feet. After it closed, the building was mostly torn down and rebuilt as a ~24,000 square feet strip center with most of the former space being new parking lot. It has an AT&T store, a UPS store, a nail salon, and a few other spaces.

7-Eleven / 3805 South General Bruce Drive
This 7-Eleven (gas + convenience store, gas self-branded) was built in the old partially removed Kmart parking lot (see above).

Bell County Motoworks / 3925 S. General Bruce Drive
There used to be Luby's Cafeteria restaurant here, opened in 1994 but closed permanently May 2, 2017, with the marquee sign indicating that the Bellmead location is still open...as if patrons would travel 40 miles north just for Luby's. In February 2020 it reopened as a motorcycle dealership featuring the Indian and Triumph brands.

LongHorn Steakhouse / 4507 S. General Bruce Drive
Chain restaurant opened in 2014.

Golden Corral / 5101 S. General Bruce Drive
This opened in 2013, a few years after the old Dodgen location closed (see HK Dodgen Loop page). It's not directly accessible from the highway frontage road, instead it's off of Tristan Lane, which connects to the frontage road.

Mexicano Bar & Grill / 5509 S. General Bruce Dr.
More accurately, Mexicano Bar & Grill #3, this was likely some sort of chain restaurant but I can't find it.

Valero / 5510 S. General Bruce Drive
This Diamond Shamrock gained the Corner Store/Valero name in the mid-2000s and eventually became a Circle K/Valero.

River Forest Inn / 1414 E. 6th Avenue
This motel has been here since the mid-1960s and is spread across several buildings.

EAST 6TH STREET to INTERSTATE 14

At this point, the S. General Bruce name is dropped and numbering resets. The Belton area has a clustering of fast food restaurants.

McDonald's / 1601 East 6th Avenue
This McDonald's was built in 1986 but has been upgraded and renovated a few times, losing its mansard roof in the mid-2010s. Additional parking was built in 2012.

Pizza Hut / 400 Neil Avenue
While Pizza Hut has an official address, Pizza Hut still recognizes by its original non-numerical address of "Neil Street & Highway 35". It has been here since 1976.

Whataburger / 307 N. Interstate 35
Whataburger has been here since 1992.

Schlotzsky's / 1012 East 2nd Avenue
This restaurant space has been a number of things before Schlotzsky's, which has been here since 2008. According to resources currently available, the restaurant's chronology includes the following: Shirley's Restaurant (1979-1980), Spurlock's Restaurant (1981), Wok's Chinese Restaurant (1983), Hallmark Grease Busters (1988-1990), and Great Southwest Restaurant (1992-2007).

Burger King / 206 N. Interstate 35
Burger King was built here in 2001.

INTERSTATE 14 to SHANKLIN ROAD

CEFCO / 1600 N. Interstate 35
CEFCO (self-branded) has been here since 2004 but it was branded as a Valero as late as July 2019.

It opened as "Southwest Travel Center" in 1985, was Payless Gas from around 1988 to 1991, then became a Diamond Shamrock store after that, continuing as such until the Diamond Shamrock brand was retired in the mid-2000s for Valero.

SHANKLIN ROAD to HILL ROAD

The last section of I-35 in Bell County is here. I've never been in Salado so it's going to be harder to get a feel for the businesses here. Interstate 35 is Robertson Road here.

Bush's Chicken / 940 N. Robertson Road
This Bush's Chicken was opened in August 2010 but disaster struck because it was right on the Interstate 35 right of way area and closed less than a year later. A near-identical new store opened in early 2012 farther off the road.

CEFCO / 1022 West Village Road
CEFCO (self-branded as of 2021) #93 opened here in 2014.

Not too long after CEFCO is where Bell County ends and Williamson County (the Austin metro) begins. Hopefully, we'll get around to Bastrop at some point and fill in that section, but for now, this is goodbye to I-35.


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