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Kayaker’s photos show crack in closed I-40 bridge in 2016

In this 2016 photo provided by Barry W. Moore, the Interstate 40 bridge is seen from the...
In this 2016 photo provided by Barry W. Moore, the Interstate 40 bridge is seen from the Mississippi River, between Arkansas and Tennessee. A cracked steel beam, seen above, prompted the indefinite closure of the bridge. (Barry W. Moore via AP)(AP)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 4:49 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Photos taken by a Mississippi River kayaker about five years before a crack was found in the Interstate 40 bridge linking Tennessee and Arkansas appear to show the fracture that led transportation officials to close the span indefinitely to cars and trucks.

In this 2016 photo provided by Barry W. Moore, the Interstate 40 bridge is seen from the...
In this 2016 photo provided by Barry W. Moore, the Interstate 40 bridge is seen from the Mississippi River, between Arkansas and Tennessee. A cracked steel beam, seen above, prompted the indefinite closure of the bridge. (Barry W. Moore via AP)(Barry W. Moore | AP)

Arkansas transportation officials said they cannot confirm or refute what’s shown in the 2016 photos, which raise questions about how early the crack appeared.

The I-40 bridge connecting Memphis and the Arkansas city of West Memphis was shut down May 11 after inspectors found a crack in a steel beam that is critical for the bridge’s structural integrity.

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