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A Podcast About Bridge Repairs

· Time to read: ~2 min

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The podcast series Highway See has released a special episode sharing the tale of the repair on the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge crossing the Mississippi River.  This Special Episode of Highway See reveals behind-the-scenes drama of the repair to the I-40 Bridge connecting Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee.

On May 11, 2021, a routine inspection of the Hernando de Soto Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River, revealed a critical fracture in an integral part of the bridge’s construction. All traffic was brought to an immediate halt on Interstate I-40 and the Mississippi River below. Both are crucial arteries for national commerce.

Key leaders of the I-40 bridge repair share the dramatic initial discovery of the critical fracture, to detecting the cause, to completing the final repair.

“It is truly amazing how resilient the Hernando de Soto Bridge is and that it withstood the significant fracture and still carried traffic” said Ted Kniazewycz, TDOT Director of Structures.  “Following 83 days of round-the-clock work, the bridge is not only as good as it was, but really better than it was.”

The Special Episode Crisis on the Memphis Bridge features: Clay Bright, Former Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Ted Kniazewycz, Director, Structures Division at TDOT Chris Frieberg, Vice President and Area Manager of Kiewet Infrastructure South Susie Alcorn, Highway See creator and executive producer, Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance

The Hernando de Soto Bridge is jointly owned by TDOT and Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT).  In their joint ownership, ARDOT has bridge inspection responsibility and TDOT maintains and repairs the bridge.  It was during a routine inspection by ARDOT that the critical finding was discovered.

“We are very proud of and owe gratitude to the department officials, consultants and contractors for their work to make the bridge better today than when it was built,” said Paul Degges, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer at TDOT.  “Along with ARDOT, we are most thankful that no motorists and no workers were hurt.”

“Highway Seeillustrates how crucial roads and bridges are to our economy and collective mobility,” said Alcorn. “Crisis on the Memphis Bridge unveils the vital role this massive two-mile long bridge plays in our national economy.”

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