Construction is complete on a new $5.5 million bridge that reconnects a major Memphis thoroughfare to Memphis International Airport.
City officials opened the new bridge over Nonconnah Creek at Airways Boulevard in a ceremony Wednesday that ended nearly two years' worth of work and traffic delays around the busy area.
“This project represents the city’s continuing commitment to keeping the airport area vital and active,” Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said in a statement. “With this area being a major employment center and the front door to our city for visitors flying in from around the globe, we must continue to make improvements.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency covered 75 percent of the cost of the bridge. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the City of Memphis split the remainder of the cost.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen said the new bridge is an important "fixture in our Memphis economy."
“The airport is the gateway to Memphis, and the Airways Boulevard Bridge is the pathway many travelers rely on to transport them safely to and from that gateway," Cohen said in a statement.
The city is now working with the Tennessee Department of Tranpsortation to upgrade the interchange at Airways and I-240. Also, improvements are planned for the interchange at Plough Beoulveard and Winchester Road.