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Are Tennessee bridges crumbling or deficient?

The bridge repairs in Memphis are bringing to mind President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion dollar infrastructure plan.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The topic still on everyone’s minds is the structural crack in the I-40 bridge – it’s causing a major headache for drivers.

But how do other Mid-South bridges compare? 

The "M" bridge will be empty of drivers for quite some time longer and drivers are glad the crack  was detected when it was.

"I just thank god because I had just crossed that bridge so what if something would have happened," said driver Tamala Moore Williams.  

For drivers like Moore, officials locating the major crack in a steel beam on the I-40 bridge was a relief.  

"This will impact lives," said Erial Cole. "I just feel like that crack has been there you know this is not a oh whoops you know it's not that." 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said the repairs could take months not weeks before it’s fixed.  

"We are having to recalculate, redo the engineering to look at the bridge and determine what is the capacity of the bridge to stand under its own weight and  also to carry traffic," said TDOT Deputy Commissioner Paul Degges.

The bridge repairs in Memphis are bringing to mind President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion dollar infrastructure plan which includes around $600 billion to repair bridges, roads and public transport. 

Traffic in Memphis in the meantime is being diverted to I-55, which was last inspected in August 2020. Due to the circumstances, the Arkansas Department of Transportation is going to  conduct another inspection.  

"I'm just glad that they found it and that nobody got hurt you know before they found it or nothing tragic had to happen for them to find it," Cole said.  

The American Society of Civil Engineers said 4.4% of bridges in Tennessee are rated structurally deficient.  

ASCE also said driving on roads in Tennessee costs each driver $209 a year. 

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