MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Crews with the Tennessee Department of Transportation began a multi-day inspection of the I-55 bridge Tuesday morning.
This comes on the heels of the revelation that an Arkansas Department of Transportation inspector missed the split in the I-40 bridge beam during a 2019 inspection.
“We understand that confidence in our inspections is low right now,” ARDot Director Lorie Tudor told Arkansas lawmakers during an afternoon subcommittee meeting.
“We just got through inspecting that bridge and it was fine except for some potholes on the deck that we needed to repair but because of what’s happened, we’ve asked TDot to do a second review of that,” Tudor said.
TDOT says crews will be using drones to gather footage of the I-55 bridge over the next few days and inspectors will then review the footage for possible damage.
Meanwhile, the first phase of repair work on the I-40 bridge is slated to begin Wednesday.
Crews from Nebraska-based Kiewit will be arriving in Memphis to begin setting up for repairs.
Thursday they’re expected to receive two 30-foot steel plates which will be used to stabilize the broken beam.
This temporary fix is expected to be complete by the end of the week and will stabilize the bridge to allow crews to begin work on a permanent fix.
But officials couldn’t say when work on the permanent fix would begin and said the bridge wouldn’t be reopened to traffic until Phase Two of repairs is complete.
They continue to say it could be a matter of months.