Rep. Crawford Works to Address the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge Closure

May 13, 2021
Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sara Robertson (sara.robertson2@mail.house.gov)

Rep. Crawford Works to Address the I-40 Hernando de Soto Bridge Closure

5/13/2021

Washington— During a routine inspection on Tuesday, a potentially catastrophic issue was identified on the I-40 bridge. This discovery has caused the bridge to close and barge traffic on the Mississippi River below to come to a halt for the foreseeable future. The Mississippi River is one of the most important waterways for commerce in America and is utilized for transporting materials north and south. There are currently over 200 barges waiting in queue.

The Hernando de Soto bridge is one of two bridges that connects Arkansas and Tennessee, making it a major route for the flow of goods from coast to coast. About 45,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, with approximately 30 percent being commercial vehicles. 

This incident also closely follows the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline which is responsible for delivering fuel to many of the southeastern states. Both Arkansas and Tennessee are one of the 17 states that have declared a state of emergency due to the pipeline closure.

“I’m thankful that the cracked beam on the I-40 bridge was discovered before anyone was put in harm’s way. I’ve spent the past 24 hours talking with representatives at Arkansas Department of Transportation, Senators Boozman and Cotton, and Representatives Cohen (TN-09) and Kustoff (TN-08) to determine what our next steps need to be. Stopping the flow of commerce across all directions of our country comes at perhaps the worst possible time as our supply chain continues to experience significant pressure from every corner of our economy. It is vital to our national security that we get both trucking and barge traffic to resume again for the well-being of every American and those reliant on the successful transport of imports and exports,” said Crawford. 

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