Inspector who failed to detect potentially “catastrophic” fracture on Memphis bridge fired

The lead inspector with the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) tasked with scouring Memphis’s Mississippi River-spanning Hernando de Soto Bridge for structural deficiencies has been fired. A recent examination of drone footage from May 2019 showed that a major crack in one of the bridge’s 900-foot horizontal steel beams had been present for at least two years.

The crack in question was discovered on May 11 by a team of private contractors dispatched by ARDOT to inspect the heavily trafficked bridge, which carries Interstate 40 across the Mississippi between Tennessee and Arkansas. The discovery prompted the immediate shutdown of both traffic on the six-lane bridge and the movement of

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