TDOT releases bridge design plan to contractor; schedule for reopening expected this week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — TDOT and ARDOT have decided how to move forward with phase two of repairing the I-40 Bridge.

A schedule for the bridge opening should be available this week.

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The department of transportation worked with the contractor on the phase 2 design and developed two repair concepts.

  • The first concept requires removing the entire fractured steel box member (tie girder) and replacing it with new components.
  • The second concept adds additional steel plating adjacent to the damaged area, bypassing the fractured components, removing a smaller section of the fractured piece, and leaving the bulk of the box section in place.

TDOT said design plans for the bridge were released to contractors Saturday. The plans will be used to get the needed equipment and develop shop drawings for phase 2.

The availability of steel materials and fabrication times for the components required will impact the bridge’s opening date.

With that in mind, TDOT and ARDOT said they agreed to proceed with the second strategy using the plating concept.

RELATED: Phase 1 of I-40 bridge repairs complete, TDOT says

This design will require less fabrication time and offers the advantage of getting the bridge opens to traffic two to three weeks sooner than replacing the damaged steel box assembly in its entirety.

While the focus is the I-40 Bridge, TDOT is making sure diverted traffic doesn’t overwhelm the I-55 Bridge.

TDOT said they installed another camera to monitor the Crump interchange and will continue to look for more ways to make traffic flow better on the bridge.

The I-55 Bridge is averaging nearly 67,000 cars per day.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced he will be in Memphis Thursday to visit the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge.