National experts to be brought in for I-40 bridge repair in Arkansas


The picture above shows the major crack in an I-40 bridge that spans the Arkansas and Tennessee sides of the Mississippi River. The bridge was shut down Tuesday as state highway engineers asked national experts to help repair the structure as quickly and safely as possible.

Repairs to the six-lane bridge into Memphis could take months after the major crack was one in one of the two 900-foot horizontal steel beams. Meanwhile, thousands of trucks and cars have to detour and shipping on a section of the Mississippi River was also shut down.

Traffic was being rerouted to Interstate 55 and the 71-year-old Memphis & Arkansas Bridge, about 3 miles south. The Associated Press reported river traffic was also shut down in the Memphis area until further notice, the Tennessee Department of Transportation said. The U.S. Coast Guard said 16 tug boats hauling more than 220 barges were waiting in line Wednesday.