West Memphis residents see cars, trucks in neighborhoods as bridge closing causes major backups

I-40 bridge

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — We’re keeping a close eye on the traffic situation in West Memphis to see if a new traffic pattern put in place two days ago is making a difference on commute times.

This comes as people we heard from reported being stuck in the traffic jam for hours, as tens of thousands of vehicles have been rerouted to the I-55 bridge due to the I-40 bridge closure.

| Traffic gridlocked in West Memphis despite new plan to ease congestion from bridge closure

ARDOT said from their point of view, things were better Friday. But there is still traffic backing up into West Memphis neighborhoods.

“I’ve never seen no traffic like this before,” said Erma Mills, who has lived in West Memphis for more than 30 years.

She said traffic was at a standstill in front of her home off Broadway. She couldn’t even make it to her driveway because it was blocked by traffic.

There’s damage happening too. A storm drain, likely affected by a tractor trailer, shows the wear and tear happening to smaller roads.

“When you have 18-wheelers coming through communities as well as going on streets that probably have been needing some time, it doesn’t make it any better,” said West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon.

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He says city and ARDOT crews do what they can to keep tractor trailers from impacting neighborhoods, where children play.

Issues in the city come from people trying to avoid long waits on the interstate.

We talked to one man caught in the mess traveling from Branson to Nashville this week. He told us it took two and a half hours to make it through West Memphis.

The city’s mayor asks for patience.

“Know that we’re out here in this together,” McClendon said.

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