I-40 bridge closed indefinitely after crack discovered in structure

River traffic shut down until further notice
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The I-40 Hernando DeSoto “M” bridge over the Mississippi River is closed indefinitely, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, after crews discovered a crack in the structure during a routine inspection.

TDOT says the crack is on the bottom side of the bridge truss and the bridge will be shut down indefinitely. River traffic is shut down until further notice.

TDOT says contract crews will investigate the crack’s extent and make emergency repairs, “which could take some time.”

TDOT shares responsibility for the bridge with the Arkansas Department of Transportation. TDOT says an ArDOT contractor discovered the crack during a routine inspection and immediately shut down the bridge.

It is unclear how long repairs will take.

Traffic is being rerouted in both directions to I-55.

Construction on the “new bridge” as it’s often called began in May 1967. The double-arched bridge opened to traffic Aug. 2, 1973. The total cost of construction was $57 million.

Since 2000, the bridge has been undergoing seismic retrofitting, with millions spent securing it to withstand up to a 7.7-magnitude earthquake.

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