MEMPHIS, Tenn. — All lanes on the Hernando Desoto Bridge were closed Tuesday until further notice after an inspection found a crack that requires investigation, Arkansas officials said.
Memphis Police said the bridge is being inspected, and it is unknown when the I-40 bridge will reopen.
Right now, drivers can use the Interstate 55 bridge to cross the Mississippi River.
According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, a routine inspection of the bridge revealed a crack that requires further investigation. The department said it is working with Tennessee DOT to make sure the bridge is safe for motorists before it is reopened.
Tennessee Department of Transportation released a statement saying the bridge would be closed “indefinitely.”
Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) contract crews will begin emergency repairs on the I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River after a routine inspection uncovered a crack in the bottom side of the bridge truss.
For the motoring public’s safety, the bridge will be entirely shut down while crews investigate the crack’s extent further and then repair the problem, which could take some time.Tennessee Department of Transportation
Arkansas I-40 eastbound traffic should take Exit 5 to Interstate 55 to cross the Mississippi River into Memphis.
Tennessee I-40 westbound traffic should take the I-55 Bridge across the Mississippi River to cross into Arkansas and then take Exit 4 to access I-40 westbound.
The bridge closure caused major backups on E.H. Crump Boulevard, and nearby streets, which feeds the I-55 bridge on the south end of downtown.
In addition, river traffic is also shut down until further notice, according to TDOT.
The Hernando DeSoto Bridge, which carries traffic on I-40 over the Mississippi River between Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas, opened in 1973 and carried more than 37,000 vehicles a day in 2018. It was last inspected in 2019 and is inspected every two years, TDOT said.