U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to visit I-40 Bridge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will travel to Memphis to visit the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge next week

Secretary Buttigieg will be in Bluff City on Thursday, June 3.

The Hernando de Soto Bridge has been closed since May 11 after a fracture was discovered in one of its supports. After several days of working 24-hour shifts, crews finished phase one of the repairs. TDOT and ARDOT have decided how to move forward with phase two of repairing the I-40 Bridge.

RELATED: Phase 2 bridge repair plans decided; schedule for reopening could be available next week, TDOT says

A schedule for the bridge opening should be available next week, TDOT said in Thursday’s daily update. Repairs could take months and traffic has been diverted to the I-55 bridge.

Meanwhile, two Tennessee democratic state legislators say planning needs to begin immediately for a third bridge in Shelby County crossing the Mississippi River.

RELATED: Lawmakers call for third bridge over Mississippi River in Memphis

Republicans in both states have said the bridge closure highlighted the need for infrastructure spending, but not President Biden’s $2.3 trillion plan, which they’ve argued is far too sweeping in its definition of public works.