MID-SOUTH — Officials responsible for the I-40 bridge are looking at a partial reopening of the bridge while repairs are being done.
The bridge was shut down after a fracture was found in a steel beam during a routine inspection.
On Monday the Tennessee Department of Transportation confirmed the steel beam fracture on the I-40 bridge includes 100 percent of the top plate and 20 percent of the bottom plate.
Officials with TDOT, ARDOT and a team of engineers with the City of Memphis are looking at ways to partially reopen the bridge to traffic.
Mayor Jim Strickland said the city is supporting transportation officials any way they can.
“I don’t really know when they are going to be able to open it safely,” he said.
Crews are looking to see if they can open up one or two lanes, but only if it’s safe to do so.
ARDOT officials announced it has terminated an employee after past inspections showed a fracture in the bridge.
Officials said the former employee “failed to carry out his responsibilities.”
The same employee carried out the inspections in 2019 and 2020 and was not using proper protocol when inspecting the I-40 bridge.
Officials chose Kiewit Corporation as the contractor to fix the bridge.
Kiewit Corporation is based out of Omaha, Nebraska.
Robert Knecht, Public Works Director for the City of Memphis, said crews are doing a detailed analysis to determine if the north lane of the bridge could be reopened to traffic in both directions.
Knecht said a possible barrier system would be put up.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is expected to visit the Bluff City Tuesday afternoon to speak about plans to reopen the bridge.
Bridge traffic has been rerouted to the I-55 bridge.
TDOT officials said that bridge will be inspected beginning Tuesday out of an abundance of caution.
TDOT released the following statement:
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
Stay with FOX13 on-air for more LIVE updates on the I-40 bridge closure throughout Good Morning Memphis.
Cox Media Group