LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge over the Mississippi River will reopen to limited traffic on Monday, August 2, as contractors finish the work, according to a release from the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) on Wednesday.
Contractors are set to finish phase three plating by Friday, July 30, and they will begin to demobilize, break down platforms, remove equipment and barriers starting with the eastbound directions.
ARDOT says this will be done on one side at a time to “maintain the safest scenario for the workers.”
All I-40 eastbound lanes are set to reopen on Monday by 6 a.m., and all I-40 westbound lanes are set to reopen on Friday, August 6, at a yet-to-be-announced time.
This schedule is barring any complications, the department says.
The bridge has been closed to traffic since May 11 after inspectors found a large crack in a steel beam critical to its structural integrity.
The emergency repair project was awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure Group by the Tennessee Department of Transportation as lead agency, according to ARDOT.
“Back in May, we speculated that it would be the end of July, first of August to work through all the phases needed to reopen the bridge,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “We did not know then what all would be involved, but what I do know is we have all been fortunate to have had a great team that personally took on this project and worked tirelessly to safely reopen the bridge as soon as possible.”