Tennessee DOT to partially reopen I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge

Bridge was shut down in May after a crack was discovered in the bottom side of the bridge truss

July 29, 2021 / 1 minute read
Tennessee DOT to partially reopen I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge
Image: Tennessee DOT

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced yesterday the I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River will reopen under limited traffic while contractors finish the work.

Contractors will have completed all the phase three plating by Friday. They will begin to demobilize, break down platforms, remove equipment and barriers starting with the eastbound direction. They will do this one side at a time as it is the safest scenario for the workers, TDOT said in a press release.

By Monday, Aug. 2, all I-40 eastbound lanes will be open, while the westbound lanes will be open by Friday, Aug. 6.

“We know having the bridge closed has been incredibly inconvenient,” TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright said in a statement. “We appreciate the public’s patience while our team made the repairs and performed extensive inspections to ensure it’s structurally sound for many years to come.”

TDOT shares responsibility for the bridge with the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT). ARDOT handles the inspections, TDOT the repairs. The emergency bridge repair project was awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure Group. Other partners included FHWA, TDOT’s consultant Michael Baker Inc., and ARDOT’s consultant HNTB.

On May 11, an ARDOT contractor discovered a crack in the bottom side of the bridge truss during a routine inspection and immediately shut down the bridge. Soon after the bridge's shutdown, ARDOT confirmed that there was a failure in the bridge inspection process which allowed evidence of damage to the I-40 Mississippi River Bridge to go unnoticed.

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SOURCE: Tennessee DOT

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