Phase one of I-40 Bridge repair is almost complete, TDOT says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the shutdown of the Hernando de Soto Bridge entered its third week, the Tennessee Department of Transportation said phase one of the repairs is almost done.

Crews completed the drilling and bolting of 315 holes for the outside plate Sunday night. Now, the brackets can be installed, and drilling will begin on the 72 holes in the back plate.

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Phase one involves installing the steel plates on either side of the fractured beam to secure the bridge for permanent repairs.

Once this is done, crews will move on to phase two. That consists of removing and replacing the damaged piece.

TDOT operations engineer Brandon Akins said crews still have a lot of work to do, but they are on schedule, and he expects phase one to be completed by the end of this week.

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“We have deemed this is an emergency repair work. As you can see, it’s had a major impact on the city of Memphis and really the entire region,” Akins said. “We want to make sure that we put all our forces dedicated to this to get this done as safely as possible, but also as quickly as possible.”

Akins said the phase two committee is in the process of creating a design for the permanent repairs, which will likely be ready by the end of this week or early next week. Crews will then immediately start construction.