Talks about a third bridge. Are these just talks or are we seeing actions?

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For years there have been talks about building a third bridge over the Mississippi River between Tennessee and Arkansas.

Right now we’re seeing more than just talk. Tennessee State Representative Joe Towns is sponsoring a resolution encouraging TDOT to collaborate with ARDOT, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Shelby County and the City of Memphis on the construction of a new bridge over the river at Memphis.

Towns says aside from challenges everyone saw when the I-40 bridge shutdown last year there are multiple other reasons for a third bridge.

“We live on a fault line sort of speak, and if there’s a need for us to transport people in mass numbers and we only have one bridge that’s available it is not going to do it in a timely manner,” said Rep. Towns.

When Action News 5′s Briseida Holguin called Representative Towns he was in the middle of a conversation about this very topic with Representative Dwayne Thompson.

“You know the thing is we’re a transportation city, we’re right there at the top in every mode of transportation not just trucks and cars,” said Rep. Thompson.

As this resolution makes it way to the House floor TDOT has already requested ARDOT’s help in updating the study for a third bridge this time with specific placement details.

“What kind of caught my attention quite honestly is that it focuses in building that third bridge that crossing in the Memphis metropolitan area specifically,” said Dave Parker, Spokesperson for ARDOT.

Parker says past studies past have looked at placing the bridge 30 minutes North or South of Memphis.

In Wednesday’s ARDOT Commission Meeting the department unanimously voted to help with the study.

“I think that’s what you’re seeing is more and more people coming to the table and it would seem yes, we have taken a big step closer to getting that third bridge,” said Parker.

Parker says TDOT plans to have the study done by this fall.

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