MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced the I-40 Hernando Desoto Bridge will begin reopening under limited traffic starting next week.
On Monday, August 2, all eastbound lanes will open by 6 a.m. On Friday, all westbound lanes will open.
The announcement comes the same day the agency began load testing the I-40 Hernando Desoto Bridge on Wednesday. DOT’s Nicole Lawrence shared video of the testing to social media early Wednesday morning.
The news comes just hours after Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless announced the I-40 bridge from Memphis to Arkansas will begin reopening Sunday night.
In a post to his Facebook page, Wheeless wrote that eastbound lanes will open Sunday night into Monday morning. Westbound lanes will open a few days later.
WREG has reached out to Department of Transportation representatives in Tennessee in Arkansas. TDOT confirms there is a reopening plan, but there are a few things that must be taken care of first.
“Yes, I can confirm TDOT has an opening plan for the I-40 bridge. Late this afternoon we started crafting our message. I will be sending out the press release with the plan mid-morning tomorrow. There are several things that have to be checked and verified before notifying everyone,” said Nicole Lawrence, TDOT Community Relations.
The Hernando DeSoto Bridge carried nearly 40,000 vehicles on I-40 until it was shut down for repairs May 11 after inspectors found a large crack in a metal beam.
As of last Friday, Tennessee Department of Transportation said the reopening had likely been pushed to early August. TDOT was to begin stress testing the bridge Wednesday.