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TDOT says load testing set to begin on closed I-40 bridge

I-40 Bridge Tour
I-40 Bridge Tour(WMC)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:31 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Transportation says crews made significant progress over the weekend with repairs to the I-40 Hernando DeSoto bridge.

All 17 plates are now in place, according to TDOT, and drilling, bolting and torqueing is ongoing.

TDOT says once the last bolt is torqued, crews will remove the lateral bracing, modify the gusset connection plate and reinstall the lateral bracing.

Load testing begins Wednesday to monitor performance using existing sensors on the bridge. TDOT will monitor how the stresses are transferred throughout the bridge support system.

The department still hasn’t announced an official reopening date but says “we are getting close.” The bridge closed in May after inspectors discovered a major crack in a beam beneath the bridge’s truss.

TDOT said last week they expected the bridge to reopen in August, later than originally thought.

I-40 traffic is being diverted to I-55.

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