ARDOT makes it official: I-40 bridge to Memphis begins reopening Monday

State News

Downtown Memphis with the Hernando DeSoto Bridge in the foreground (Ian Ripple, WREG)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that the Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River will begin reopening on Monday, August 2.

According to ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor, contractors are finishing up all phase 3 plating on Friday and will reopen I-40 to limited eastbound lanes over the bridge.

Tudor says that by Friday, August 6 all I-40 westbound lanes should be open completely open after crews have removed all platforms, equipment and barriers.

Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless said on Tuesday that there were plans to reopen the bridge in the coming days.

The bridge has been closed to all traffic since May 11, when a crack was discovered in one of two 900-foot steel beams that compromised the structural integrity of the bridge.

The bridge closure resulted in major traffic backups for both Memphis and West Memphis as many drivers were diverted to the I-55 bridge and U.S. Route 49 bridge in Helena.

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