Stunning New Photos of ‘Crack’ in I-40 Bridge Just Might Send Chills Up Your Spine
West Memphis, AR – Newly released photos of the Interstate 40 bridge connecting Arkansas and Tennessee just might send chills up your spine.
Earlier this week the I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge (also known as the Mississippi River Bridge) was quickly shut down after a routine inspection led to the discovery of what officials said was a major “crack in the bottom side of the bridge truss.”
The shutdown has resulted in significant delays and serious headaches for the more than 12,000 commercial motor vehicle operators and nearly 30,000 motorists who travel the bridge each day.
Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, ARDOT Director Lorie Tudor defended the emergency closure stating the situation “had the potential of being a catastrophic event.”
New photos released by both the Arkansas (ARDOT) and Tennessee Departments of Transportation (TDOT) reveal what officials called a “fatigue crack” in one of the steel beams.
Transportation Nation Network’s social media followers have also taken notice of just what a disastrous event this could have been.
“So freaking scary,” wrote Bernie Hopkins. “We passed over that bridge the day before and again the day they shut it. With a fully loaded Semi!!!”
Some commenters have also taken issue with how ARDOT and TDOT officials described the bridge damage.
“I do not understand why they are calling this a crack! You can clearly see the truss is BROKEN!!!” said Walker Huck.
Clinton Mitchell Gordon chimed in, “At first they said it was a crack. Looks like it’s broke to me.”
The 50-year-old structure was last inspected in September of 2020.
ARDOT officials said the damage was not present at that time.
An evaluation remains ongoing.
— Arkansas DOT (@myARDOT) May 13, 2021
Officials have also not yet ruled out the possibility the I-40 bridge will require a complete tear down and rebuild.
Traffic continues to be diverted to the Interstate 55 bridge and will be until further notice.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow new developments.