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Hernando de Soto Bridge: Wikis

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Hernando de Soto Bridge
Hernando de Soto Bridge and the Memphis skyline photographed from the Arkansas side.
Other name(s) M Bridge, New Bridge
Carries 6 lanes of I-40
Crosses Mississippi River
Locale West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee
ID number 79I00400001
Design Through arch bridge
Total length 19,535 feet (5,954 m)
Width 90 feet (27 m)
Longest span 900 feet (274 m) each
Clearance below 109 feet (33 m) (varies some due to river level)
AADT 43,000 (2008)
Opened August 2, 1973
Coordinates 35°09′10″N 90°03′50″W / 35.15278°N 90.06389°W / 35.15278; -90.06389Coordinates: 35°09′10″N 90°03′50″W / 35.15278°N 90.06389°W / 35.15278; -90.06389

The Hernando de Soto Bridge is a through arch bridge carrying Interstate 40 across the Mississippi River between West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. It is often called the "M Bridge" as the arches resemble the letter M. Memphians also call the bridge the "New Bridge"[1], as it is newer than the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (carrying Interstate 55) downstream.

The bridge is named for 16th century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto who explored this stretch of the Mississippi River, and died south of Memphis. His body was believed to have been buried in the Mississippi River after his death (although, according to legend, his body lay at the bottom of Lake Chicot in Arkansas, an oxbow lake of the Mississippi River about 130 miles south of Memphis.)

On August 27, 2007, an inspector discovered that a bridge pier on the approach bridge west of the river had settled overnight, and the bridge was subsequently closed to perform a precautionary inspection. The bridge was reopened later that day. [2]

View of the Hernando de Soto Bridge from the south eastern shores of the river Mississippi
Hernando de Soto Bridge from the shore

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