Cracked Memphis bridge may reopen soon, highlights supply chain vulnerabilities

Every barge taken off the shipping route would add about 70 tractor-trailers to the roadways, an expert estimated. But trucks are in short supply.

5/14/2021 3:30:00 AM

The crack in Memphis's Interstate 40 bridge is just the latest disaster in recent supply chain issues, highlighting the country’s need for investment in infrastructure.

Every barge taken off the shipping route would add about 70 tractor-trailers to the roadways, an expert estimated. But trucks are in short supply.

, highlights some of the nation’s biggest supply chain vulnerabilities, but engineers are hopeful they may be able to at least reopen shipping on the Mississippi River in the next week to alleviate some of the strain.The Hernando de Soto Bridge, a vital Midwest shipping route that connects Arkansas and Tennessee, has been shut down to thousands of vehicles and barges. Engineers are working on a fix for the 48-year-old bridge but are unsure how drastic the repair effort will be, said Paul Degges, chief engineer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

At least 12 people are taken to the hospital following a shooting in downtown Austin, authorities say AP wins 2 Pulitzers for photos of pandemic pain, US unrest Washington state approves offering free marijuana joints to those getting the Covid vaccine

“I'm hopeful in the next day or so we'll be able to be in a position where we can talk to the Coast Guard and say, ‘Hey, we think the bridge is OK. It's got an adequate factor of safety,’ and we can open the river back up to barge traffic,” Degges said Thursday. “So that's, that's step one.”

But it’s too early to determine whether the repairs will take six weeks or six months, he said.The cracked beam is composed of four blades of steel, and at least two appear to no longer be connected because of the damage. Engineers will have to run multiple mathematical models to assess exactly how damaged the bridge is before mapping out a repair plan, Degges said. headtopics.com

In this undated image released by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, a crack appears in a steel beam on the Interstate 40 bridge, near Memphis, Tenn.Tennessee Department of Transportation via APThere’s also the added concern about finding the proper high-strength steel material and the time it will take to replace the beam. The steel at the time the bridge was originally completed in 1973 was proprietary to U.S. Steel, and steel is currently highly priced, which brings a scarcity issue to the repairs.

“For us to get the components manufactured, we've got to be able to find a steel facility that can make this particular type of product,” Degges said. “And so we think that there's plates available, but then it has to be cut and fabricated, holes punched in it, where we can bolt everything up.”

Similar repair issues have occurred with smaller bridges in other states, like Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Florida, which will help provide a road map for finding the proper resources.But the crack in Memphis is just the latest disaster inthat have highlighted the country’s infrastructure issues. The Mississippi River provides a vital downstream route for farmers who need to transport crops and a pathway from the Gulf for oil and gas companies.

There are currently 44 vessels with a total of 709 barges waiting to pass through the river,according to a tweet from the Coast Guard on Thursday.Most Americans likely don’t realize how dependent consumers are on river barges and pipelines to transport goods, said Thomas Goldsby, chair of logistics and co-faculty director of the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. headtopics.com

Trump Teases Writing 'Book Of All Books' And Twitter Users Can Wait House lawmakers introduce Big Tech bills that could break up Amazon, Google and others Sea search continues after Spanish girl's body found in bag

Every river barge taken out of the supply chain would add about 70 tractor-trailers to roadways, Goldsby estimated.“Sure, we can move things by truck, but if you've been paying attention to what's been going on with trucking capacity, it's a very tight supply right now,” Goldsby said. “And here we're talking about, you know, tankers and flatbeds and ... subclasses of transportation by truck that are even more constrained.”

Truck and car traffic in Memphis has been diverted to the nearby Interstate 55 bridge, which will help keep roadway shipping at normal levels, though increased congestion may cause delays. If shipping is delayed on the river too long or repairs lead to long-term disruptions, companies may have to consider alternative means for moving their products.

Tennessee Department of Transportation chief engineer Paul Degges, at podium, talks about a crack in the Interstate 40 bridge that connects Arkansas and Tennessee on Wednesday.Adrian Sainz / APThe Hernando de Soto Bridge received a “fair” rating after a September 2019 inspection, according to the

National Bridge Inventory compiled by the U.S Department of Transportation. Top scorers are in “excellent” condition, and a “fair” rating is just above “poor.”About one-third of all U.S. bridges require major repair work or replacement, with more than 46,000 rated in poor condition, an headtopics.com

American Road and Transportation Builders Association analysisof 2019’s National Bridge Inventory found.Railroads are a possible alternative, as companies have been investing millions of dollars in recent years to increase capacity, but it can become costly because railways are almost entirely privatized, Goldsby said.

"To the extent that we could divert freight from the roadways to the railways, it would be super efficient," Goldsby said."We'd have fewer car, truck accidents and lower emissions, but it is slower and less reliable than moving by truck."

YouTube Suspends GOP Sen. Ron Johnson For COVID-19 'Misinformation' Coronavirus pandemic Cruises Just Restarted And Passengers Are Already Testing Positive For Covid-19 Again

Companies can be hesitant to move toward a slower mode of transportation and are typically only incentivized to move to railroads when gas prices increase. But as bridges continue to age, the U.S. should work to modernize its transportation infrastructure, according to Goldsby.

Read more: NBC News »

Decoding the Queen's colorful style

As Britain's longest-reigning monarch, the Queen is both a cherished and consistent part of public life -- her image synonymous with stability and tradition to the British people.

There will never be a national infrastructure program, we are not a Nation. Red states don’t want infrastructure bill passed. When bridge collapses and lives are lost don’t ask Biden to fix it. You had your chance tennesseenews1 MarshaBlackburn Time will prove that Bernie Sanders was correct about most things.

Imagine the work that could get done if the federal government let the states keep their money instead of the feds taking the state money then giving it back to them. I'm sure it's not a dollar taken in and a dollar given. Biden? This is what happens when you have a TN Senator like MarshaBlackburn who focuses her efforts on a wall and China rather than the crumbling infrastructure in her own state!

Colonial Pipeline announces operations have restarted'Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,' Colonial Pipeline said on Wednesday evening.

Chick-fil-A is facing a sauce shortageChick-fil-A says that industry-wide supply chain issues, which are affecting essentially every aspect of the economy, have resulted in a 'shortage of select items' that the chicken chain serves, including sauces. Fuck Chick-Fil-A Too much grease. Gag Finally some good news around the effects of the pandemic.

Colonial Pipeline restarts after hack, but supply chain won't return to normal for a few days

A 'universal vaccine' may soon protect against all coronaviruses, including the common coldEven as scientists race to develop booster shots and tweak existing vaccines to work against new variants to SARS2, they're looking ahead to future pandemics caused by entirely new pathogens from the same coronavirus family. Now after all these vaccines introduced around, u are bring one final universal vaccine which has to come from US or Europe. Africans have their medicines working on these viruses but are ignored WHO . We will keep using our herbs as they ignore them.

Matt Gaetz’s Wingman Is an Even Bigger Scumbag Than Previously ThoughtOne of the women said Gaetz's 'close friend' would try to ply the under-21 girls with fake IDs—and then threaten legal repercussions if they refused to sleep with him. Is wingman another word for pervert because I’m confused?!

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations following hacking shutdown'Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,' the company said in a statement.