Update on the I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge Repairs

MEMPHIS – TheTennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) are working together to safely repair and reopen the I-40 Bridge over the Mississippi River as soon as possible. After three days of intense and thorough analysis, we have the following information to share.

  • The Department met with our Structural Team, which included TDOT, ARDOT, FHWA, TDOT’s consultant Michael Baker, Inc. (MBI), and ARDOT’s consultant HNTB to go over the details of the bridge modeling.
  • There was a consistent message that, above all, the safety of the public was paramount, and the priority was to 1) open the bridge to river traffic  2) open the bridge to vehicular traffic  3) look at the bridge for long-term issues related to the original failure. 
  • There is no indication that the bridge is continuing to deteriorate. We went through an extensive bridge modeling program to be sure it was safe for river traffic.
  • We are performing additional modeling with different analytical tools to ensure quality control to have a redundant analysis before we make a final determination that the bridge is structurally stable.
  • The US Coast Guard made the decision to reopen the Mississippi River to traffic at 9:00 AM CDT this morning.
  • The design team is investigating the benefits of installing a steel plate to beef up the fractured section and thus increase our factor of safety for the existing configuration.
  • The design team is working on an interim repair design concept that contemplates using steel rods that would be attached to the bridge and span over the fractured section, and provide the needed strength to reopen the bridge to vehicular traffic.
  • The interim repair would allow time for a new bridge component to be fabricated to replace the bridge’s damaged 37’ long section.
  • ARDOT is continuing to monitor the fracture area to ensure that no additional fractures are propagating from the existing section.
  • FHWA has requested that the section of damaged steel be preserved so that a detailed forensic investigation of the plates could be done later.
  • TDOT is working with the University of Memphis to see what could be gained from some of their research activities on the bridge that might have captured some information regarding the fracture.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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