One year after I-40 bridge shutdown, is Memphis closer to a third bridge?


One year ago, a crack in the Hernando de Soto bridge between Tennessee and Arkansas forced the closure of the structure, snarling traffic, disrupting commutes, burdening emergency services and throwing a wrench in national and international trade for months.


The infrastructure crisis also injected new life into long-running discussions about a third bridge across the Mississippi River for the region. It brought national attention to the crossing, including a visit from a hard hat and reflective vest-clad U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a springboard for Memphis officials and business leaders to highlight what they see as the need for a third river crossing. 


“If we talk about the third bridge and we talk about what it does for our region, I think we need to take a step back. I think we all need to understand that this bridge isn't a regional bridge. It is a bridge that represents how we work in America and how we move in America,” said Bill Dunavant, president and CEO of Dunavant Enterprises.


According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, more than 40,000 vehicles cross the I-40 bridge daily, about a quarter of them trucks.  


“This is not our bridge. It is America's products that come across those bridges that support our country every single day,” Dunavant said. 


Posted by Andrea Wiley at 12:42