Northbound lanes of I-35 were moving at a crawl in Temple Friday afternoon after a pair of wrecks at the north and south sides of town.

The first crash was reported just south of Midway Drive shortly after 1PM. Traffic was backed up as far as Loop 121 in Belton.

At 2:49 PM, TxDOT reported another near North Loop 363, Mile Marker 304.

"Crash near N. Loop 363 has traffic slowed/stacked up through Temple and has merged with stackup from previous crash south of Temple," the report read. "Expect significant delay between Belton and N. Loop 363 in Temple, currently 45 minutes to an hour. Alternate routes advised. No estimate on clearing."

I-35 traffic is never a picnic, but Friday rushes and crashes always seem to make it worse. Take Loop 363 around town if you can, and remember that 317 west of town is an alternative as well. (Though that road can be a nightmare at times too, so be alert.)

REMINDER: Crews plan to close northbound lanes of I-35 tomorrow night and into late Sunday morning. Per our report earlier this week:

Work along northbound Interstate 35 in Temple originally scheduled for the weekend of March 2nd will take place this weekend if the weather cooperates this time, and that'll mean some overnight delays.

Beginning at 8 PM Saturday, March 16, work crews will close a single northbound lane of I-35 between Exit 302/Nugent Ave and North Loop 363. Their goal is to stripe new pavement, reset concrete barriers, and shift northbound traffic onto new pavement one lane at a time.

The work is scheduled to be over by 11:45 AM Sunday, March 17, at which point lanes would open back up.

Again, that's if the weather doesn't pose an obstacle.

Crews are also expected to permanently close the temporary Exit 304 to North Loop 363. They hope to open the new, permanent Exit 303 to SPUR 290/Industrial Blvd/3rd St. and the new, permanent Exit 304 to North Loop 363.

A new North Loop entrance ramp is also expected to be opened.

I'd advise using Loop 363 to get around the whole mess. Either way, watch for slowdowns and take it easy around any work zones. Traffic will be bad enough without any collisions, and getting through a little quicker isn't worth someone losing their life.

Check out the map below. If it appears too small, click or tap for a larger version.

TxDOT