MEMPHIS, Tenn. / WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Heads up, Mid-South drivers! The I-40 bridge, also known as the Hernando DeSoto Bridge or the “M” bridge, has been shut down indefinitely.
A TDOT spokesperson confirmed to FOX13 the bridge will be closed indefinitely.
According to an ARDOT spokesperson, the bridge is closed because of a “structural infrastructure crack” in the bridge.
TDOT says the crack was found in the “bottom side of the bridge truss” or support beam.
According to a tweet from ARDOT, the bridge will be closed at least through Wednesday morning rush hour as engineers inspect drone footage of the crack.
TDOT officials are expected to give an update on the bridge closure Wednesday morning. River traffic is also shut down until further notice.
The crack was discovered by an ARDOT consultant. The spokesperson said drones are coming in so the inspectors can look over the damage.
The spokesperson added that he will not know how long the bridge will be closed until the inspectors can see the damage.
Officials are currently meeting to find out how much the bridge is damaged and the timeframe for repairs.
ARDOT and TDOT are working together to make sure the bridge is safe before traffic is reopened.
The Hernando DeSoto Bridge was constructed in 1972. It cost $57 million, which is about $335 million today.
Arkansas I-40 eastbound traffic should take Exit 5 to Interstate 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.
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Cox Media Group