SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Shelby County bridges are getting a much-needed facelift.
Drivers are worried it could be a traffic nightmare, but transportation officials promise the huge project, which will replace four bridges on I-240, will be done as quickly as possible.
These bridges have been up for decades, and Tennessee Department of Transportation officials are hoping to have improvements made in record time.
"It is time for these bridges to be replaced," said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.
TDOT announced Thursday a project called "MemFix4" that will replace the bridges at I-240 on East Poplar, West Poplar, Park Avenues and the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
"This project will cost a little over $54 million and we expect it to be completed in about 18 months, using normal construction this period would take about three years," Schroer said.
The quick turnaround is thanks to a process called Accelerated Bridge Construction, or ABC. Crews used the method for construction in Nashville, and they're hoping it will also be successful in Memphis.
"What that really means is, we will build components of this bridge independently and in pieces and then roll them into place and put the bridge in (place) in the span of a weekend," said Will Reed with TDOT.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said this is a sign of continued growth in our area.
"When you think about I-55, and I-40 and 240, 385, Highway 51 all the influence of transportation arteries in our community, it wears and tears on infrastructure," Luttrell said.
The construction is set to begin in January 2018 and expected to end June 2019