Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited a cracked bridge in Memphis to highlight that though the grim situation with the bridge might seem regional, it is a national issue. He stressed the urgency to restore this link given the logistical significance of the region.
Pete Buttigieg viewed the state of the bridge, spent time studying the progress, and spent some time on the ground with the authorities on the progress. He checked what more needed to be done to hasten the process.
He emphasized how much we all depend on the correct functioning of critical infrastructure. The vital highway bridge across the Mississippi close to Memphis had one of its interstate spans shut after a dangerous crack was discovered by inspectors. A 30-minute haul to the train terminal nearby has turned into a two to three-hour tough roundabout route.
A Piece Of National Concern: Pete Buttigieg
More than 620,000 vehicles made the journey on I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge each day, spanning Arkansas and Tennessee. The traffic is now being handled by the older bridge, a post-WWII vintage bridge that is now the sole link in this vital logistic hub.
Over 46,000 bridges across the US are in disarray. Pete Buttigieg said that this important piece of infrastructure proved that each flaw in the infrastructure covering one region is a cause for national concern.
The bridge and the whole trail passing through Memphis is critical for the local region and the national economy, said Pete Buttigieg.
It moves $350B in goods every year. The International Airport at Memphis is the superhub for FedEx and the busiest airport in the world for air-bound cargo.
Pete Buttigieg said that the I-40 bridge was one such example of hard infrastructure that lawmakers need to agree upon. The Republicans have only agreed to smaller plans and limited expenditure. A setback in repairing such bridges would be a setback for the whole region and would severely affect the whole nation, the Transport Secretary said.
A crack inside a 900 ft beam was discovered during an inspection this May. Inspectors had to call 911 and immediately seal off the bridge. It is totally closed. Many other bridges across the country are in various stages of disrepair.