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I-40 bridge expected to open at the end of July

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) says its goal for reopening the bridge is the end of July, but say the safety of workers and the public is their number one priority.

Construction on the I-40 bridge is moving along with no delays.

“Over the weekend, the holiday weekend we did release and remove those post-tensioning bars, so that was a lot of progress that we made from the weekend. That means that we’re going in the right step,” said TDOT spokesperson Nichole Lawrence.

Lawrence also says the contractor has completed the repair of the initial fracture and now the inspection process is underway.

“Last week, we kind of got a draft and it kind of gave us some ideas of some things that needed some other repairs,” Lawrence said.

TDOT has identified nine locations that need plating. They are currently completing the design of those plates this week and say materials are being sourced.

Lawrence says they hope to have a final inspection report by next week, but as of now she doesn’t foresee it delaying their re-opening goal.

“So, safety is going to be always the number one priority and the end of July is still our target date,” Lawrence said.

It’s a date that can’t come soon enough to drivers.

While many have adapted to the I-55 bridge detour, according to TDOT’s estimated travel delay map, depending on the day, time of day, and direction you are headed, you can still face delays up to 45 minutes.

Click here to see the map.

Aside from repairing those nine spots that have been identified, there are a number of things crews will be working on this week, such as final bolting and torquing.

See more work to be done this week:

  • Removed all post-tensioning (PT) rods, now removing weldment/anchors
  • Minor miscellaneous drilling remains on some small connection pieces
  • Final bolting and torquing are ongoing
  • Removal of the rigging from the upper truss section
  • Several miscellaneous bracing and connection pieces that were initially removed to accommodate the work are being re-installed

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