I-55 bridge reopens after multiple-vehicle crash causes hours-long shutdown

I-55 bridge reopens after multiple-vehicle crash causes hours-long shutdown
(Source: TDOT)
(Source: TDOT)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The I-55 bridge between Arkansas and Memphis is back open after a big rig crash had drivers in both directions stranded for hours.

The wreck happened at about 5:30 p.m. just as people were getting on the road for the Labor Day weekend.

The bridge finally opened up again around 8 p.m., but for several hours it was a nightmare as drivers were literally stuck on the interstate and bridge.

Arkansas State troopers allowed a WMC Action News 5 crew to go onto the bridge for video and interviews.

"I can't use the bathroom," said one person. "I can't eat."

That becomes a problem when you get stuck on a bridge for almost three hours.

Vehicles and 18-wheelers were stuck on the south bound lanes on the I-55 bridge.

"Welcome to truck driving," said a truck driver, who calls himself Pacman.

On the Memphis side of the bridge, an 18-wheeler and several cars crashed causing the backup.

Pacman said it goes with the truck driving territory, and the Arkansas State troopers handled the situation pretty well.

"Doing pretty good from what I understand," Pacman said. "They're clearing it up at least, they're getting all these wheelers off."

But it was slow going, and drivers had to back down the interstate. That's quite a task for an 18-wheeler.

Families in cars with children could do nothing but wait. Most of the people were really patient.

"It's an inconvenience," said one driver. "I wouldn't say it's irritating."

Trandon Love and Justin Doyle from Greenwood, Mississippi riding in a truck helped drivers back up.

"Just trying to guide people to get from sitting out here on the bridge for 5 hours just trying to guide them off the bridge," Love said.

It appears no one was injured. Investigators have not yet released the cause of the crash.

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