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Schedule for the re-opening of I-40 bridge expected to be released this week

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 5:35 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - TDOT says this week several teams will be on-site inspecting, weld testing, and performing routine maintenance such as cleaning out drains.

With phase 1 of repairs on the I-40 bridge done the focus is now on phase 2.

Both TDOT and ARDOT agreed to go with the concept that adds additional steel plating adjacent to the damaged area, bypassing the fractured components and removing a smaller section of the fractured piece.

They say this design will require less fabrication time and offers the advantage of getting the bridge open two to three weeks sooner.

Over the holiday weekend not a lot of activity happened but design plans were released to the contractor on Saturday night.

The plans will be used to procure the needed plates, bolts, and other materials, in addition to developing the shop drawings for phase two repairs.

TDOT also says information regarding a schedule will be released later this week once they know how long it will take to procure the needed materials.

It’s been 3 weeks since inspectors discovered a crack on the I-40 bridge, Kevin Kane, president, and CEO of Memphis Tourism says the good thing is the closure has not impacted tourism.

“Not one bit... As far as tourists that are coming here from the West, we haven’t seen it. Our hotel occupancies are as strong as they were in 2019 for the last couple of weeks and we had a huge Memorial Day here in Memphis and Shelby County,” Kane said.

There have been talks about a third bridge, Kane says they could get behind any idea that supports the city.

“Well, we’re obviously for anything that’s going to make access for our visitors to get here, because I’ve always said 2/3 of the visitors who come here drive here,” Kane said.

Regarding the report of the I-55 bridge TDOT says inspectors are still reviewing hours of drone video and numerous pictures... and continue to say nothing concerning has detected.

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