The Coast Guard today allowed barge traffic to resume beneath the Interstate 40 bridge at Memphis, though it remains closed to traffic as officials ponder what to do about discovery of a fractured major beam on the bridge.
Hundreds of barges had stacked up on the major commerce carrier when traffic was halted Tuesday.
As for when the bridge will reopen to vehicle traffic, experts say it could be a while. They are currently using x-ray technology to figure out if there are more cracks in other parts of the bridge.
If not, the fix should only take a few days, said civil engineering University of Memphis professor Dr. Adel Abdelnaby.
But if there are more hints of danger, they’d have to replace a much bigger part of the bridge. That could take six months to a year, he said.
Also: From KARK news that fractures were evident in drone footage made two years ago.
“The Arkansas Department of Transportation confirmed Friday an image captured by an inspector’s drone video shows evidence of damage of the same area of the fracture which caused the bridge closure earlier this week.
“ARDOT officials said in a statement a video from May 2019 shows evidence of the damage on the lower side of the bridge.
”The department is looking to see if the damage was noted in a September 2019 inspection report and if there were any actions taken. “