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Trucker traffic woes continue as Memphis bridge repairs inch closer to completion

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Traffic is still causing disruptions for truckers traveling through the Memphis area more than two months after the initial Interstate 40 bridge shut down. 

The bridge was shut down in early May due to a massive crack in one of the beams. Since then, traffic has been a nightmare not only for motorists, but for truckers trying to transport goods across the country. And while traffic is always something drivers take into consideration, they’ve had to pay even more attention to timing and routes since the shut down. 

“I try to come through at night. So I get lucky most of the time. I got here at midnight last night,” says 40-year truck driver Paul Rock to News Channel 3.

“I can only drive 11 hours a day. If you sit an hour in traffic, that takes away from your drive time,” he continued. 

In addition, truckers say that signs indicating alternate truck routes can be easy to miss, so they often depend on each other to share information on the best routes. 

“There are a lot of signs. A lot of them just tell you to go around and find an alternate route. But I have been around here enough to know that I-55 is the way to come down,” said Rock.

Thankfully, the I-40 bridge repairs are on track to allow for at least a partial bridge reopening by the end of this month. 

“We’re still working toward that really, really hard. We want to see how much of this plating has to be done while the bridge is closed and maybe if possible some of it can be done under traffic,” said Mike Welch, Director of Operations with TDOT. 

“I would say we’re relatively confident.” 

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