MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that phase one of the I-40 Hernando Desoto Bridge repair has been completed.
A spokesperson for the department said Kiewit Infrastructure Group worked around the clock to install fabricated steel plates on each side of the crack to secure the bridge for permanent repairs.
While planning for phase two is still underway, it will include extending the platform and removing and replacing the damaged piece. This phase will have to be complete before traffic is reopened.
The City of West Memphis reported that the work involved the drilling and bolting 315 holes for the outside steel plate.
“Inspectors continue to review the drone footage. So far, there is nothing of concern. A final report could tentatively be available by the end of the week,” the city said on its Facebook page.
The bridge, which links Tennessee and Arkansas at Memphis, was closed indefinitely May 11 after inspectors found a large fracture in a steel support. It 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.