AHTD: Traffic Off I-40 Span Should Prevent Sinking

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - In West Memphis, routing traffic around an Interstate-40 span that extends west from a landmark Mississippi River bridge should keep that section from sinking further into the ground.

Arkansas highway spokesman Randy Ort says it remains "unknown what, if any, additional work will be needed" on the highway section heading west off the Hernando DeSoto Bridge.

Transportation officials closed the entire bridge for nine hours Monday after discovering a support pier of the I-40 span had settled nearly four inches overnight.

Westbound traffic is now routed onto eastbound lanes, then back onto westbound lanes.  The arrangement is temporary and was already scheduled for next week as work continues on an earthquake safety project.  The New Madrid fault runs through the area.

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