Tom Charlier, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Construction work on an ongoing, $54 million bridge-replacement project will force the closure of one of Memphis’ busiest commercial thoroughfares this weekend, state officials announced Wednesday.
Poplar Avenue will be closed in both directions at the Interstate 240 interchange between 9 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. Ramps connecting eastbound and westbound Poplar to I-240 will remain open, however, as will the interstate itself.
The Poplar bridges carry some 50,000 cars and trucks daily.
The closures will accommodate work on a project known as MemFix 4, an 18-month, initiative by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to replace four bridges over I-240 the two on Poplar and spans for the Norfolk Southern Railroad and Park Avenue.
The bridges, all built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, are being replaced because they’ve reached their anticipated lifespans and have begun deteriorating, according to TDOT.
The new bridges will be constructed to seismic standards to better resist earthquakes. They also will allow for the widening of I-240 in the project area.
The spans are being replaced through a new process called Accelerated Bridge Construction, which employs total short-term road closures to allow crews to work around the clock, speeding up the completion timetable. In the case of MemFix 4, the ABC process will enable workers to finish the project in about half the 3-year period that would have been required with traditional methods.
The construction is slated for completion in June 2019.