Part of I-55 has been shut down to traffic as the Tennessee Department of Transportation, or TDOT, removes an abandoned railroad. The closure is expected to last until 6 a.m. Monday.
I-55 northbound thru traffic will be detoured at the I-55/I-240 junction. I-55 southbound thru traffic will be rerouted at the I-40/I-55 junction in West Memphis.
Local traffic on I-55 southbound will have access at West McLemore and Presidents Island. Local traffic on I-55 northbound will have access at South Parkway West.
The closure was scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. Friday, but due to a wreck on I-40 near Covington Pike, TDOT had to push back the start roughly one hour until the accident scene was cleared.
A TDOT public information officer said despite the delay I-55 was still expected to reopen at 6 a.m. Monday.
TDOT is removing the abandoned railroad bridge crossing that was deemed a safety hazard.
According to a TDOT spokesperson, “The bridge’s clearance of 14 feet 1 inch is one of the lowest in the area, and over the years trucks have hit the bridge or gotten stuck.”
While signs warning drivers of the closure and detour have been posted for days, some drivers expressed concern over traffic and delays.
“I’m not sure what’s going on down here this weekend, but if there are a lot of events down here this weekend it could get really congested trying to get in here,” said Mark Hefley who lives in downtown Memphis.
“I just bypassed us all together. You know Third is going to do the next main street and it’s going to be jam-packed. It’s already jam-packed anyway so that’s not gonna help anything. But I guess it’s progress they got to do what they got to do when they got to do right,” said Charles Crowder who drives I-55 regularly for work.
TDOT is reminding drivers to play close attention to the detour signs through the weekend.
They also advise using the I-40 bridge as an alternative to help alleviate traffic congestion.