Trucking Association chief says Memphis bridge reopens will take months
Arkansas Trucking Association president Shannon Newton said short- and long-term solutions were being discussed to address the transportation issues presented by the closure of the damaged Mississippi River I- bridge. 40 in Memphis.
In a meeting with federal officials Thursday, May 20, Newton said there was no deadline for the Hernando de Soto Bridge to reopen, which was closed more than a week ago after the discovery. a massive fracture on one of the steel beams supporting the structure.
When asked when the bridge could reopen, she replied, “I feel confident in the response for several months.”
Trucking officials estimate that closing the bridge is costing the industry at least $ 2.4 million per day.
âIn any business, time is money. Whether you’re talking about idling equipment, burning fuel, or an idling driver, it’s all costing the industry money, âNewton said.
She noted that the bridge was about an eight-minute drive down the hall, but with the rerouting due to it being closed, it now takes around 84 minutes or more to take an alternate route. Newton said the I-40 corridor is a major transportation route between California and the Carolinas.
When Newton met with Federal Highway Administration officials on Thursday, she expressed concern about the impact of the closure on the city of West Memphis.
âThe city of West Memphis is currently blocked by traffic using its city streets to try and cross the river,â Newton said. “So what can be done to alleviate the congestion and the stillness in the area right now?” Are there things that federal highways can either send extra money and / or make allowances or exceptions to create? Can we drive on the shoulder? Or do we have to go from two lanes to one lane in this particular situation? Can we do something to increase the capacity as the vehicles try to use this I-55 bridge? “
You can watch Newton’s full interview in the video below.