MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mid-South leaders are relieved now that the I-40 bridge is finally reopening. TDOT officials say the eastbound lanes will open Monday followed by the westbound lanes next Friday.
“For Memphis drivers, tourism, and the economy, I’m pleased the I-40 bridge will be open again for travel,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said.
West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon said he’s glad the traffic nightmare is ending after roughly three months of repair work.
“You affecting people’s quality of life when you have citizens telling me they work 10 minutes away from their job, but it take them an hour and a half to get home, or when children can’t play in their front yard for fear that an 18-wheeler is coming through their community,” McClendon said. “When you prohibit people coming from Memphis to West Memphis whether they’re coming for entertainment or downtown area coming to shop or Chick-Fil-A or Walmart, that hurts the tax revenues.”
But some of the coming relief may be short-lived because of another road project planned for next year.
TDOT officials say work on Crump Boulevard leading up to the I-55 bridge will begin in 2022. They don’t know how much that road work will impact the old bridge or the traffic.
“Hopefully, any repairs that they do they’ll be conscious of how it will affect us,” McClendon said. “I’m not looking forward (to it) but if it comes, we’ll just deal with it and adapt to it as we have done now.”
TDOT officials are currently seeking public comment on that project. WREG will let you know when any public meetings pop up.