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A vital Memphis bridge shut down since May due to a structural crack will partially open next week

By Tina Burnside, CNN

A major bridge connecting Memphis, Tennessee, to Arkansas will open to traffic in one direction on Monday, more than two months after a crack forced its closure, Tennessee transportation officials said Wednesday.

The Hernando DeSoto Bridge, which carries Interstate 40 over the Mississippi River, was shut down for repairs May 11 after a routine inspection found a structural crack.

Repair workers will have finished their work by Friday, the Tennessee Department of Transportation said in a news release.

All eastbound lanes are expected to reopen at 6 a.m. Monday, after workers remove their equipment and platforms from that side.

The westbound lanes are expected to open on August 6, after equipment from that side is removed, the department said.

The equipment removal will happen one side at a time because this is “the safest scenario for the workers,” the release reads.

“We know having the bridge closed has been incredibly inconvenient,” TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright said. “We appreciate the public’s patience while our team made the repairs and performed extensive inspections to ensure its structurally sound for many years to come.”

When it is fully open, more than 50,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day, according to CNN affiliate WHBQ.

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