Memphis mayor supports construction of third bridge over Mississippi River

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 4:51 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland sent a letter to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, stating he supports the construction of a new bridge across the Mississippi River at Memphis.

“I think it’s something that has been discussed for years and for whatever reason seems to kind of go away,” said Dave Parker, public information officer for the Arkansas Department of Transporation (ARDOT).

Parker says hearing about this is not surprising, especially after the I-40 bridge shut down for about three months last summer. It caused disruption of barge traffic and travel.

“The two bridges, the I-40 and the I-55, getting older every day and what we saw this summer, the discussion around a third bridge, yeah it’s bound to happen and maybe this time will go beyond just discussion,” Parker said.

Both ARDOT and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) say the process of getting a third bridge would involve a number of agencies and a lot of money.

In a statement, a spokesperson for TDOT says:

“The latest estimates for such a project indicate the cost to be between $1.5 to 2 billion, nearly double the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s annual construction budget. However, there may be options with members of our federal delegation pursuant to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”

In the letter, Strickland mentions Memphis’ role in transportation, logistics, and distribution. The letter states:

“This aging infrastructure is a challenge that we should no longer delay” and proceeded to formally request that the building of a new bridge be listed as a long-term transportation infrastructure for the state.”

View Strickland’s letter below:

Lee did not comment on the matter but his office did acknowledge it has received the letter and is reviewing.

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