Drivers hauling loads through Mississippi will take costly detours this month – and possibly many months to come – after a large crack was discovered in a major interstate bridge that crosses the Mississippi River.
Marcus Redd was just one driver impacted by this inconvenience.
Last week, The I-40 Hernando DeSoto “M” bridge over the Mississippi River closed indefinitely, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). Crews discovered a crack in the structure during a routine inspection. The crack is on the bottom side of the bridge truss, according to TDOT. Traffic is being rerouted in both directions to I-55.
"I had to reroute to I-55N to get back on 40," said Redd about the situation.
While drivers are thankful to have another route available, the inconvenience to the industry is major. Operational cost data provided by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) indicates the average cost of operating a truck to be $71.78 an hour or $1.20 a minute.
“Using GPS data, we can discern that a previous 8-minute drive is now averaging 84 minutes. This additional transit time at $1.20 a minute for 26,500 trucks is costing the trucking industry more than $2.4 million each day that the bridge is closed,” said Shannon Newton, Arkansas Trucking Association President.
While this closure may seem like a localized problem, Newton went on to say the additional expenses it takes to operate could eventually be passed on to the consumers.