MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation has a big announcement!
The contractor has completed the work and clean-up in the westbound lanes.
TDOT announced all westbound lanes would reopen by 3:00 p.m. Monday, but the lanes were opened earlier than expected just after 1 p.m.
Saturday night at 10 p.m., all eastbound lanes were reopened to traffic.
Ramps that were closed along I-40 westbound will be reopening.
The ramp from Metal Museum Drive to I-55 south will remain closed, a release said, and the right lane from Riverside Drive to I-55 south will also remain closed.
All other ramps around the I-55 and Crump interchange will be reopening.
According to a release, TDOT, ArDOT, and law enforcement agencies will closely monitor both river crossings as traffic returns to normal.
The release also said:
We continue to ask motorists to pay attention to the interstate DMS, portable message boards, and SmartWay for specific traffic information. TDOT HELP trucks will begin to resume normal activities after the bridge is open.
TDOT would like to thank the public for their patience during this critical repair project. While we realize this has been a significant impact on the community, region, and nation, safety has always been our top priority.
Marc King is a therapist in West Memphis who dreaded driving back and forth from Midtown.
He was forced to sit in traffic for an extra 45 minutes almost every day.
“Boy, the truckers and the cars, people just were getting routinely frustrated with each other,” said King.
He said the closure also impacted his scheduling because many of his patients from Memphis were stuck in a traffic jam.
He was relieved when both lanes reopened on the I-40 bridge Monday afternoon.
“I’ve been waiting patiently because I also enjoy getting a meal now and then downtown Memphis, I can do that again,” said King.
People from out of town are also thrilled to see it back open.
“When I accidentally saw the bridge was back open today I had to go across the bridge and go back over just to do it,” said Chris Elledge.
Elledge is originally from Memphis so she visits several times a year.
For Chris, the bridge is more than just a commute back home, it’s sentimental.
“I was excited, I really was because coming in when I come back home, I want to come over the bridge and I want to see the lights. That makes me feel like I’m home,” said Elledge.
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