If you live in Memphis, surely you’ve heard by now — and voiced your opinion — about the coming “Old Bridge” closure in 2017.
TDOT announced last week that the I-55 “Old Bridge” across the Mississippi River would close for 9 months while they redevelop the I-55 and Crump area with new ramps and a roundabout.
The whole point in this project is to ease traffic congestion in that area, which is much needed. But surely they can do so without closing the “Old Bridge” for 9 months, right?
TDOT officials say “no.”
So, that means for AT LEAST 9 months (do these projects ever finish on time?), if you want or need to cross the Mississippi River, you’re going to have to do so across the I-40 Hernando-Desoto bridge (the “M-Bridge” for the sake of this article).
Bruce VanWyngarden, the editor of the local Memphis Flyer, wrote a piece on the closure, calling it “a really horrible idea.” He made some good points too.
This is predicted to have a major effect on businesses. Especially those businesses in West Memphis that heavily rely on Memphis patrons. But more importantly, it could have a huge impact on public safety!
According to TDOT, 55,289 vehicles travel on the Old Bridge everyday. A little ways up the river, 55,630 vehicles use the M-Bridge everyday. So, you’re DOUBLING the number of vehicles using the M-Bridge.
And any I-55 traffic that needs to get over the bridge will now be re-routed to use I-240 through Midtown. I-240 currently sees 97,000 vehicles a day. And then you’re going to add 55,000 more — a lot of those vehicles being 18-wheelers. That’s scary.
The potential problems associated with closing the Old Bridge are extreme. But anyone who’s traveled across that bridge knows that traffic congestion around there is bad. So these new changes themselves are welcomed.
However, TDOT should make these changes while researching every possible option for keeping the Old Bridge open. Even if the project takes longer.
TDOT could potentially hold some liability for any serious or catastrophic injuries due to the traffic congestions this closure is predicted to cause.
Our Memphis personal injury attorneys can help
Auto accidents happen quite frequently in Memphis and range anywhere from a fender-bender to an accident causing catastrophic injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, you should be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. We can help you get that compensation.
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