I-40 bridge shutdown could mean higher costs for consumers, experts say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The shutdown of the I-40 bridge connecting Tennessee and Arkansas could hit consumers hard in the pocketbook.

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Experts say the longer the bridge is closed the more consumers will end up paying for goods and services.

The closure could also mean more traffic on local roadways.

MORE: Here are the alternate routes to get you around the I-40 bridge closure

Ernie Nichols, a professor of supply chain management at the University of Memphis, said there isn’t a quick fix.

“There’s going to be delays,” he said. “There’s going to be congestion and I don’t see any quick fix. When you start looking for alternatives, the nearest bridge (is) either Dyersburg or you go down to Helena, and that adds additional hours.”

Some businesses will also have to rethink how they operate. Some are shifting to intermodal transportation, using two or more carriers to deliver goods.

RELATED: ‘We need to get people off the bridge immediately’: Hear the 911 call that brought traffic to a halt

Nichols said delivery of online orders could be affected due to impacts on trucks crossing the bridge.

“You’re going to see higher transportation costs,” he said.

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