The I-40 crossing over the Mississippi River is a vital structure for the traffic and freight in America. In the early 1990’s TDOT partnered with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to begin the seismic retrofit of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge. The first project began in 2000, and several phases have been completed. The seismic retrofit is designed to protect this bridge and its approaches in the case of an earthquake of up to 7.7 on the Richter Scale. This crossing is located less than 100 miles from the New Madrid Fault line, the same fault that led to the 1811 earthquake which formed Reelfoot Lake. It is one of only two crossings of the Mississippi near Memphis and serves as a major cargo and traffic connection across the river. The loss of this structure during an earthquake would have a huge impact on America’s economy. Our completed work is in excess of $175 million and we anticipate $75 to $80 million more. The contract is federally funded at 80% with 20% split between Tennessee and Arkansas (TDOT - 60% and AHTD - 40%). Completion is contingent on available funds in both Arkansas and Tennessee.
Crews are working to seismically retrofit the I-40/Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River in Memphis.