I-40 bridge over Mississippi River closed, then reopened - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

I-40 bridge over Mississippi River closed, then reopened

By WOODY BAIRD
Associated Press Writer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Officials closed a major Mississippi River bridge between Tennessee and Arkansas for nine hours Monday after a pier under a small approach span settled several inches overnight.

The approach span for the Interstate 40 bridge was still supported by other piers, so the most motorists might have noticed was a slight dip, said Randy Ort, a spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

Engineers closed the span just after morning rush hour after finding a pier near the river had settled 3½ inches.

Tennessee Department of Transportation spokeswoman Pamela Marshall said the traffic was moving in both directions on the eastbound span.

The span had recently undergone improvements while the westbound span carried traffic.

After Monday's discovery on the westbound side, both spans were closed and traffic diverted to the nearby Interstate 55 bridge.

The westbound span remained closed. Ort said the problem was likely caused by additional, longer pilings being driven to improve the bridge's stability. While crews worked beneath one half of the bridge, the other half was carrying 35,600 vehicles daily.

River bridges have been under scrutiny across the country since the Aug. 1 collapse of the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis killed 13 people.

That bridge was undergoing repairs when it fell during the evening rush hour, dropping dozens of cars more than 60 feet into the Mississippi.

Workers have been improving bridges along I-40 to make them safer in case of earthquakes. The New Madrid fault runs through the area.

Marshall said she's not sure that the Minneapolis bridge collapse played a role in the decision to close the bridge.

"It is a bold stance, considering how busy these bridges are, just to shut them down," she said. "It is at the front of everybody's mind. Let's learn from other situations."

Judy Easley, 52, of Lepanto, Ark., commutes each day to her job in the clerk's office at U.S. District Court in Memphis.

She said if the traffic was too bad Monday, she planned to say overnight with her daughter, who lives in Memphis.

"If they say 35,000 go across this and 45,000 go across that, now it's going to all go on one bridge," she said. "It's going to be a little hairy."

--- Associated Press Writers Beth Rucker in Nashville and Kelly P. Kissel in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly