Mississippi River Traffic Reopened Under Damaged Interstate 40 Bridge

May 14, 2021

Credit Arkansas Department of Transportation

The U.S. Coast Guard has reopened traffic on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., after a three-day delay caused by a crack in an interstate bridge.

The I-40 bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee remains shut down to road traffic. The crack found Tuesday goes through a steel beam crucial for the bridge's integrity. More than 45 tug boats hauling about 700 barges had been idled along the river south and north of the bridge.

The river's reopening Friday should ease concerns that an extended closure of barge traffic could hurt the region’s economy and have ripple effects on the nation’s supply chain.