The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Kiewit Corporation have prepared a timeline for repairs for the fracture on the Hernando DeSoto I-40 Mississippi River Bridge at Memphis, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) agency officials.
Phase I will add two 30 foot steel plates (18,000 lbs each) on either side of the fracture to strengthen the bridge for contractors and equipment to safely work on Phase II repairs. Kiewit has already mobilized and committed to working 24 hours a day until work is completed. Work platforms for the operations will go up this week.
Phase II will cut out and replace the damaged member and inspect the bridge for any additional concerns that need to be addressed before traffic returns to the bridge. Traffic cannot safely return to the bridge until both of these repair phases are completed.
Weather permitting, TDOT states that while repairs could take several months but better estimates will be available as repairs progress.
TDOT also dedicated two inspection teams and drones to work on the Interstate 55 Mississippi River Bridge and is using an overabundance of caution in reviewing new footage and previous inspection reports to verify the safety of the older bridge.
A webpage dedicated to this closure of the I-40 Mississippi River Bridge is available. You can also stay current on this issue by following @myARDOT on Twitter or using the hashtag #40MSRiverBridge. Find additional information at IDriveArkansas.com or ARDOT.gov.
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