I-40 Bridge partially back open following months of repairs

Memphis, Tenn. — After nearly three months of repair work on the I-40 Bridge, traffic is once again flowing.

Cars began driving across the bridge around 9 p.m. Saturday night when eastbound traffic opened back up, allowing vehicles to once again cross the Mississippi River from Arkansas into Tennessee.

The City of West Memphis confirmed to FOX13 that West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon was in one of the first vehicles to cross the newly reopened bridge.

RELATED: I-40 Bridge Eastbound lanes to reopen Saturday night

The bridge abruptly shut down on May 11 after a crack was discovered in a support beam.

Inspection crews with the Arkansas Department of Transportation discovered the crack during a routine inspection.

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What followed was extensive work for ArDOT and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, who share responsibility of the major connection between the two states, to safely open the bridge back up for commuters.

IN PHOTOS: A journey through the I-40 Bridge repairs

While those crews worked away, however, frustration grew for many drivers as wait times approaching the I-55 Bridge, the only other access point between Arkansas and Tennessee, frequently approached one hour or longer.

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As lengthy drive times discouraged drivers from making the trip from West Memphis, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennesse, businesses on both sides of the river suffered.

Members of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce breathed a sigh of relief as the vital lifeline to the city reached its reopening date while business owners in West Memphis anxiously awaited the return of Memphis customers.

RELATED: Traffic and hopefully business set to resume flowing across I-40 bridge

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Now, part of those frustrations anyway, have been relieved with cars once again traveling from Arkansas into Tennessee.

Westbound lanes carrying drivers from Memphis into Arkansas could open as soon as Friday, August 6, according to TDOT.