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Tennessee-Missouri bridge experiences increased traffic after I-40 shutdown

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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CARUTHERSVILLE, MO. (KAIT) - Drivers are getting creative with ways to get over the Mississippi River even if that means going all the way to Missouri.

As you traveled through Caruthersville Wednesday, you could notice more trucks traveling east towards Tennessee.

Caruthersville Fire Chief Charlie Jonesboro says he believes the increase in traffic is somewhat concerning.

The Tennessee-Missouri bridge is another option for drivers to cross over the Mississippi River, now that the I-40 bridge is shut down for repairs.

As more people realize this option, people in Caruthersville are noticing more traffic.

“But since the bridge is closed in Memphis, we have seen a significant of more truck traffic and vehicle traffic going along (Highway) 412 to cross to cross over the bridge into Tennessee,” Jones said.

Jones says since more people are driving their way, more calls are coming in.

This past weekend, they responded to two fires near Highway 412.

“We had a vehicle fire in the westbound lane at Mile Marker 9 and then we had a grass fire at the same time at Exit 4 on 155, 412. While I was out there, I noticed the increase of traffic going in both lanes. East and west,” says Jones.

Jones says all they can do is prepare for what comes with the increase in drivers.

“Our bridge is a good bridge and the traffic has increased but we’re ready for anything. Whether it be extraction, any type of accident, like vehicle fires or anything of that nature,” says Jones.

Jones says he honestly does not blame people for using this option, because it helps with driving time and it helps with traffic in West Memphis.

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