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Hernando DeSoto Bridge will soon be able to better handle an earthquake

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If you drive along the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, get ready for some changes. (Source: Chopper 5) If you drive along the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, get ready for some changes. (Source: Chopper 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Along the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, the Mid-South should get ready for some major construction changes.

Construction work is beginning on the bridge Wednesday, July 16. The construction will reduce traffic down to two lanes in both directions.

The work being done will reinforce the bridge and make it better able to withstand the effects of a possible earthquake. The goal is to try and make this bridge earthquake proof. So if an earthquake ever does hit, this bridge will have a better chance of withstanding it.

This bridge will assist in a large quake maybe up to a 7.7 magnitude.

David Robertson and his family were visiting from North Carolina around 9 a.m. Wednesday. He ended up driving across the Hernando Desoto Bridge twice.

"Too congested. I mean if you're trying to find your way around," Robertson said.

Construction is expected to last a few months; Tennessee Department of Transportation will shift the bridge's westbound lanes to the center of the bridge.

This construction plan will still allow for two lanes in each direction.

Meanwhile, wide loads are prohibited.

Robertson says he thinks reinforcing the bridge for an earthquake is a good idea, and he promises to visit Memphis again; only he'd rather do it after this construction is finished.

"I'll be back, that's not going to deter me from coming back ... I like Memphis, I like the barbecue," Robertson said.

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