NEWS ALERT- Gov. Lee addresses I-40 Bridge repair, infrastructure spending

In this undated image released by the Tennessee Department of Transportation shows a crack is in a steel beam on the Interstate 40 bridge, near Memphis, Tenn. The Tennessee Department of Transportation says the crack is in a 900-foot steel beam that provides stability for the Interstate 40 bridge that connects Arkansas and Tennessee over the Mississippi River. The bridge was closed Tuesday, May 11, 2021 after inspectors found the crack. (Tennessee Department of Transportation via AP)

Calls on Congress to Address Roads and Bridges

NASHVILLE/MEMPHIS – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is traveling to Memphis to assess progress on the Hernando de Soto bridge repair, meet with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and address the need for immediate federal action on infrastructure.

“We are making swift progress on repairs to the Hernando de Soto bridge to ensure safety and a return to uninterrupted commerce,” said Gov. Lee. “While Congress ponders the definition of infrastructure, we call upon the federal government to prioritize the safety of actual roads and bridges.”

American Rescue Plan funds are expressly prohibited from being spent on road, highway or bridge infrastructure. Currently, the American Rescue Plan designates $182 million to Shelby County and $161 million to the City of Memphis. The American Jobs Plan, touted as an infrastructure plan, would spend an estimated $2 trillion with a mere 5.6% dedicated to roads and bridges.

“We will continue investing in infrastructure for the safety of our citizens and the strength of our economy,” said Gov. Lee. “I commend the State of Arkansas, the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers for their work and look forward to meaningful action out of Congress to address the condition of our roads and bridges across the country.”

I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge Actions

  • Repairing bridge damages through an efficient two-phase plan
  • Preventing commerce disruptions by diverting traffic to alternate routes
  • Ensuring safety by monitoring congestion and alerting travelers of closures

For the latest updates regarding repairs of the Hernando de Soto bridge and alternate routes follow MyTDOT.