America’s River Crossing Bridge Replacement (I-55 Bridge)

The proposed project will replace the existing 75-year-old I-55 bridge improving safety, address route resiliency and maintain a state of good repair. The I-55 bridge is projected to support approximately 64,000 vehicles carrying residents, workers and freight moving between Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi every day by the year 2050. The proposed project will improve mobility, reduce crashes and address traffic flow and operations for local and regional motorists and travelers in the tri-state area. Other project benefits and goals include:

  • Reducing future maintenance costs;
  • Providing a new bridge that meets modern seismic code (earthquake resistant);
  • Enhancing local and regional freight movement;
  • Enhancing multimodal connectivity, including non-motorized access with the Big River Crossing;
  • Improving economic vitality; and
  • Innovative and timely delivery, pending Large Bridge Investment Program (BIP) grant award.

Current Status: Environmental studies and fieldwork are underway. Additionally, TDOT hosted two in-person, open-house-style public meetings in April to introduce the proposed project to the public and receive initial feedback. Please note that the official project comment period was open beginning April 18, 2024, through May 16, 2024. The resources for the project comment period can be found below in the Public Involvement Resources section. Public hearings are tentatively slated for late 2024.

Funding Type: Transportation Modernization Act funds have been allocated for the proposed project. TDOT, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT), has submitted a Bridge Investment Program (BIP) grant application for additional federal funds.

History and Background

History and Background

The Memphis-Arkansas Bridge opened in December 1949 and was originally part of the US 40 corridor. It replaced narrow traffic lanes on the Harahan Bridge, constructed in 1916. The Memphis-Arkansas Bridge carries I-55 across the Mississippi River and is the southernmost of the bridges in the Memphis area. In 2001, the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. TDOT and ARDOT have coordinated on numerous studies since 2003, including:

Public Invovlement

Public Involvement and Engagement

In accordance with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations and under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an environmental document is required that identifies the significance of a project’s environmental impact.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) will be prepared, and the Project Team will communicate and coordinate with the public and stakeholders often. Two open house public meetings took place in April where the public provided official comments about the proposed project and its potential impacts. The public comment period to provide feedback on the proposed project was open from April 18 through May 16, 2024. TDOT will post a summary of the comments received on this web page.

Project Contacts