Pete Buttigieg Scheduled to Visit Memphis Thursday


U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has announced he will travel to Memphis on Thursday, June 3, to assess the disruption to traffic that the closure of the Hernando DeSoto-Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River has caused.

Inspectors said they found a large crack in one of the bridge’s structural beams on May 12.

The crack has disrupted traffic throughout the Mid-South region and in the nation’s third busiest freight corridor. The bridge is also part of a network that includes five Class 1 railroads, the fifth largest inland port and FedEx’s distribution hub.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a press release that he invited Buttigieg to Memphis.

Cohen said in the press release that he will use the crack in the bridge to push for the American Jobs Plan and for more government investments in the nation’s infrastructure.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan does not allow for either Shelby County or Memphis to use their $343 million in federal funds to repair the broken Memphis bridge. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee visited the bridge last month to review repair plans. After his visit, Lee criticized Biden’s plan for being marketed as an infrastructure plan but not assisting in actual infrastructure.

“While Congress ponders the definition of infrastructure, we call upon the federal government to prioritize the safety of actual roads and bridges. Although the American Rescue Plan designated $182 million to Shelby County and $161 million to Memphis, funds are prohibited from being spent on road or bridge infrastructure,” Lee said.

“The American Jobs Plan, touted as an infrastructure plan, would spend $2 trillion with a mere 5.6 percent dedicated to roads and bridges.”

The American Rescue Plan included around $350 billion in state, local, tribal, and territory infrastructure – but eligible uses only include water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Updates on the I-40 bridge are available on the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) website.

TDOT officials said in their most recent update, on Friday, that the contractor was working to complete the platform extension for phase two repairs. TDOT officials are diverting all interstate traffic in the Memphis area to nearby I-55.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Hernando de Soto Bridge” by Trevor Birchett CC4.0.








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6 Thoughts to “Pete Buttigieg Scheduled to Visit Memphis Thursday”

  1. Dee

    Secretary of Planes, Trains and Automobiles Up-His-Butt-Edge-Edge will have plenty of kindred spirits in Mempho.

  2. Bill

    Mad magazine character and “It” clown together. Now that’s a dynamic duo. Here’s an idea, how about a chihuahua and a house cat coming together in Memphis. More could be accomplished at maybe.

  3. mikey whipwreck

    pete’s only qualification for trans secretary is that he once rode a choo-choo train and liked it.

    biden’s government

  4. Hope he has some spare cuddle time for Steve Cohen.

  5. rick

    Thats what they need in Memphis this idiot to come in and cause more problems for the Memphis residence, Just say no thanks to his visit, Memphis already has Cohen and the local Democrats to screw things up without another useless politician’s input. I am sure before its over the Biden Administration will say the damage to the bridge was due to racism, as inferior product was originally used due to systematic racism.

  6. Kevin

    Didn’t the last “shovel ready jobs” program fix all of our infrastructure problems? Certainly those red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple spot lights must strengthen the beams of the bright. Yeah right!

    No, all of that money went to “fundamentally transform America” and the funding for the theft of our elections, starting with Kentucky in 2019!