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Fired employee was inspector for 9 'critical' bridges over past year in Arkansas

ARDOT officials say teams have already started re-inspected those nine other bridges and are hoping to have them done by the end of June.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT), the employee who failed to report the crack in the I-40 bridge in 2019 was the lead inspector for nine 'critical bridges' over the last year.

That person was fired Monday morning after 2019 drone footage revealed the crack in the I-40 bridge. 

“From our investigation we have determined that the same employee who conducted the inspection in both 2019 and 2020 failed to carry out his responsibilities correctly,” Director Lorie Tudor said.

Dave Parker with ARDOT says teams have already started re-inspected those nine other bridges and are hoping to have them done by the end of June.

As for the I-40 bridge, which is the main connection between Arkansas and Tennessee, officials say the fracture could take months to prepare.

The bridge will remain closed to all traffic until it is completely repaired.