Major Delays After I-40 Mississippi River Bridge Shut Down For ‘Emergency Repairs’
West Memphis, AR – Arkansas and Tennessee transportation officials have shut down a major bridge along Interstate 40 connecting the two states for “emergency repairs.”
On Tuesday, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials said a routine inspection of the I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River led to the discovery of a “crack in the bottom side of the bridge truss.”
TDOT indicated “emergency repairs” were needed, precipitating all traffic lanes of the bridge to be closed in both directions.
“For the motoring public’s safety, the bridge will be entirely shut down while crews investigate the crack’s extent further and then repair the problem, which could take some time,” TDOT said.
Late Tuesday afternoon the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) indicated the bridge was expected to remain closed “through the night and (Wednesday) morning.”
Traffic is being rerouted in both directions to I-55 as an alternate route across the river.
Arkansas I-40 eastbound traffic should take Exit 5 to I-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.
River traffic is also shut down until further notice, officials said.
ARDOT and TDOT share responsibility for the bridge and are expected to provide an update Wednesday morning.
Photos courtesy TDOT and FOX13