Governor Lee Details Plan to Repair I-40 Bridge


Governor Bill Lee, alongside Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, traveled to Memphis on Tuesday to detail the ongoing process and plan to repair the I-40 bridge.

“We are making swift progress on repairs to the Hernando de Soto bridge to ensure safety and a return to uninterrupted commerce,” Governor Lee said.

The bridge has been closed to traffic since May 12. During a routine inspection, contractors working with the Arkansas Department of Transportation noticed a large crack in a structural beam in the bridge. Immediately, the bridge was closed to traffic. Even river commerce was blocked from passing underneath the fixture.

The two states have launched a campaign to fix the well-traveled bridge. Lee laid out a two-step plan, which he said will be the most efficient way to reconstruct the damaged section.

While discussing the plans to repair the crucial piece of infrastructure, Lee criticized the federal government for lack of action throughout the crisis.

“While Congress ponders the definition of infrastructure, we call upon the federal government to prioritize the safety of actual roads and bridges,” he said.

Infrastructure — a commonly bipartisan and noncontroversial issue in government — has become heavily debated under the Biden administration. President Biden’s infrastructure plan calls for trillions of dollars to be spent on “infrastructure.” However, only around $600 billion would be spent on the traditional definition of infrastructure — roads, bridges, airports, and waterways.

Instead, the plan calls for more money to be spent on issues such as child care and housing.

“We will continue investing in infrastructure for the safety of our citizens and the strength of our economy. I commend the State of Arkansas, the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers for their work and look forward to meaningful action out of Congress to address the condition of our roads and bridges across the country,” Lee added.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for the Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bill Lee and Asa Hutchinson” by Bill Lee









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