I-55 bridge inspected by TDOT, officials say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation released Tuesday that crews will be inspecting the I-55 bridge.

The inspection started around 11 a.m., officials said during a Tuesday press conference with the Tennessee and Arkansas governors.

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Christian Brothers University civil engineering associate professor Andrew Assadollahi said the I-55 bridge could have damage caused by the environment.

Because the I-55 bridge is the older of the two, he said it has been subjected to more corrosive elements from the river and pollutants in the air.

“When you have corrosive effects on a steel member, if these elements get thinner then that’s going to weaken the member and they won’t be able to support as much load,” said Assadollahi. “That would be something I’m sure the engineers are looking out for.

Additionally, there’s more traffic now on the I-55 bridge during the closure.

TDOT said they have traffic crews on both ends of the bridge to help respond to accidents faster.

TDOT said in a release:

Out of an abundance of caution, TDOT will perform a review of the I-55 Bridge over the Mississippi River to look at key components of the bridge. Our Region 4 Bridge Inspection staff will have one drone start in Arkansas and one in Tennessee.

It will start sometime today

The inspection comes a week after officials had to shut down the I-40 bridge due to a crack in the infrastructure and now traffic is being diverted to the I-55 bridge to go west.

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