I-40 Bridge in Tennessee Likely Won't Reopen Until August

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Department of Transportation now says it will likely be early August before the Interstate 40 bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee can reopen to traffic.

Contractors are working on phase 3 of the repairs that began after a crack was found in May in the Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River.

Transportation Commissioner Clay Bright previously said construction was expected to run into at least late July. The department said Friday it would have a more schedule information next week about reopening.

All interstate traffic in the Memphis area is being diverted to I-55.

The I-40 bridge was shut down May 11 after inspectors found a crack in one of two 900-foot (275-meter) horizontal steel beams critical for the bridge's structural integrity.

The 47-year-old, six-lane I-40 bridge runs from North Carolina to California and is a key artery for U.S. commerce.