Gov. Hutchinson concerned about business, shipping with I-40 shut down

ARKANSAS — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says the shutting down of the I-40 bridge is concerning.

“We cannot, we cannot be at a circumstance that we have a bridge out of commission for a long time,” Hutchinson said.

FOX13 is continuing to follow developments as the I-40 Bridge is closed indefinitely.

He said the impact felt in the tri-state area is huge, especially when it comes to business and the shipping of goods.

“I’m very concerned about the disruption to the normal flow of cargo in both in terms of river barge traffic, but also the commuting between Arkansas and Memphis is a serious detraction,” he said.

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With this sudden disruption, the governor said this is an eye-opener when it comes to infrastructure.

“I do hope congress can pass a federal infrastructure program,” he said. “This stresses the need that it needs to focus on the typical kinds of infrastructure of highways and bridges and the safety. Because even though we detected this one, we need to keep the inspection going on other bridges.”

PHOTOS: I-40 Bridge closed after crack discovered

Hutchinson said a team of engineers from Tennessee and Arkansas is working together on a plan to fix the bridge.

He said the hope is they’ll have a report Friday.

RELATED: No timeline on when I-40 bridge could reopen, officials say

Hutchinson said this will determine if there can be a temporary repair to resume traffic soon or if it will be a long-term process.

“We hope that that’s quickly done, but if it’s a long time, you have to understand that is because we want it to be safe,” he said. “It will not be reopened without confidence in its safety.”

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