MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Traffic along the I-55 bridge in the southbound lanes moved smoothly throughout much of the day on Monday, after a second lane was added onto the exit ramp near Crump Boulevard.
Tennessee Department of Transportation crews worked through the weekend to add the additional lane. TDOT said the goal is to help the traffic flow through the Crump interchange.
The new lanes were created after gridlock in West Memphis last week, which caused bumper-to-bumper traffic on Broadway.
But on Monday in West Memphis, the roads were significantly clearer than the previous days.
West Memphian Sharnell Townsend said she’s also seen less congestion in the city.
“It looks great today. I was actually planning on going across the bridge. I don’t have to plan my trip for earlier,” Townsend said.
ARDOT also made a traffic pattern switch in the middle of last week. Officials told us the purpose of the change is to cut down on merge points on the interstate which was slowing down the traffic flow.
Officials believe a construction project and a large wreck added to the major backup in West Memphis neighborhoods last week.
City officials in West Memphis believe that major back up with the addition of more traffic on local streets caused damage to the smaller street infrastructure.
“Street infrastructure things like that is something that we will be talking to the state as well as federal officials about. Getting some of the funds in to making sure we can repair these streets that has been damaged by the bridge closure,” said West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon.
As multiple agencies work to get the traffic problems under control, repairs to the I-40 bridge are underway.
TDOT believes repairs to the I-40 bridge will be complete late July or August.