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Shuttle service in the works to ease flow of traffic on I-55 bridge

A bus shuttle service is reportedly being worked out between Memphis & West Memphis as repairs continue on the I-40 Hernando de Soto bridge.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A bus shuttle service is in the works between Memphis and West Memphis, Arkansas, as repairs continue on the I-40 Hernando de Soto bridge.

According to a tweet from Arkansas State Senator Keith Ingram, the Arkansas Department of Transportation is working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, West Memphis, and the Memphis Area Transit Authority to provide the shuttle service between West Memphis and downtown Memphis.

The goal is to help ease the flow of traffic on the I-55 bridge as commuters work to get back and forth daily.

The following are traffic changes from ARDOT:

  • I-55 southbound will be reduced to a single outside lane just before the western I-40/I-55 Interchange.
  • I-40 eastbound already narrows to a single lane at the I-40/I-55 Interchange. Exit Ramps at 7th Street and Ingram Blvd. will be closed to I-40 traffic.
  • I-40 traffic will continue in the inside lane and I-55 traffic will continue in the outside lane through Ingram Blvd. The middle lane will be closed to separate eastbound traffic between the western and eastern I-40/I-55 Interchanges.
  • East of Ingram Blvd. eastbound traffic will transition into two adjacent lanes.
  • The I-40/I-55 on-ramp at Ingram Blvd. will be closed.

Here is some of the latest on the repairs to the fracture on the I-40 bridge from the last update from TDOT on Monday:

Here's some of what is happening this week:

  • St. Louis Bolt is fabricating the bolts for the post-tensioning (PT). The first batch could be ready as soon as tomorrow. 
  • The PT weldments/anchors are being fabricated. The first shipment could arrive as soon as Saturday, 6/12.
  • The PT rods are being fabricated. The first shipment could arrive as soon as Monday, 6/14.
  • Steel strengthening plates and splice plates are also being fabricated. No timeline yet for delivery.
  • Pre-hanging rigging and supports on the bridge.
  • Removal and replacement of floor beam stiffeners on the bridge.

 In-depth inspections of the bridge are also happening. So far, there is nothing of concern. However, if any issues are found during the repairs, it could affect the bridge's opening date. The safety of the workers and the public is our number one priority. 

All interstate traffic in the Memphis area is being diverted to I-55. We plan to add a lane to the I-55 southbound ramp to help alleviate some congestion and advance flow through the Crump Interchange. Crews will begin the paving and restriping this week as the weather allows. 

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