The first round of repairs on the I-40 Memphis bridge were completed this week, bringing the project that much closer to completion.
The completion of phase one comes exactly two weeks after the initial shutdown, and required contractors with Kiewit Infrastructure Group to work 24-hour shifts to get it done.
River traffic beneath the bridge was resumed on May 14th, but the bridge will remain closed to traffic until the second phase of repairs has been completed. The plans for phase two are currently being finalized, and will ultimately remove and replace the fractured beam.
As of May 26th, there was still no estimated date for the completion of these repairs, so until then, locals are accepting the traffic challenges the bridge closure brings.
“If the traffic’s moving well, it normally takes me about 14 minutes to get to work,” Samuel Sullivan told WMC Action News 5 about his daily commute from West Memphis, Arkansas to Memphis. “And if traffic’s not moving well, it can take 30 minutes to an hour.”
“I’m doing good,” said Memphis truck driver Reginald Johnson. “I go across the bridge twice a day, every day.”
“I know the little short cuts out of West Memphis,” he said, “So, it’s like 15 minutes for me. I do what I got to do to make it out of here.”