CNN quotes a Tennessee highway official guessing that a repair of a fractured beam in the Interstate 40 bridge at Memphis could take six to eight weeks “minimum” to repair.
I still don’t think anyone knows for sure.
The hope is that some temporary repairs would allow resumption of traffic on the bridge (and the Mississippi River barge traffic below), but no timeline has been offered yet.
UPDATE: Another image from the Arkansas Department of Transportation and its news release.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) are working together to safely repair and reopen the Interstate 40 Bridge over the Mississippi River, according to agency officials.
Today the two transportation agencies have accomplished the following:
Generated a computer model of the bridge and adjusted it to include the damages
and current conditions. Now that the model closely matches the real situation it will
be used to test future repairs.
Discussed the current situation and risk factor of reopening the river to barge traffic with the Coast Guard so that they could evaluate and decide if it is safe to resume operations in that waterway.
Agreed that the first step is to complete temporary repairs designed to guarantee
the safety of personnel and equipment required to be on the structure while putting
the long term repairs into place.
A new webpage, dedicated to this closure of the I-40 Mississippi River Bridge, is available and we have attached two new photos. You can also stay current on this issue by following @myARDOT on Twitter and explore using the hashtag #40MSRiverBridge. Find additional information at IDriveArkansas.com or ARDOT.gov.