Mayor Strickland: Repairs for I-40 bridge could take months, not weeks

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I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says it could be months before repairs are complete on the I-40 bridge.

Authorities closed the Hernando Desoto Bridge after an inspection found a crack that requires investigation. It’s unknown when the bridge will reopen, but on WREG’s Live at 9 Wednesday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he spoke with state leaders and TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright for about 45 minutes Tuesday evening.

He was under the impression it would take “months rather than weeks” to get the needed repairs. State officials have authority over the project.

“I do think it’s a long-term fix, which means there’s going to be some inconvenience for Memphis drivers as they try to negotiate I-55,” Strickland said.

In addition, river traffic is also shut down until further notice, according to TDOT.

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 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.

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