It must have been a disturbing call in early May to 911. “We have made an extremely dangerous discovery. All persons should be evacuated from the bridge as soon as possible. Engineers had discovered a major fracture in one of the girders of Memphis famous arch bridge and were so alarmed that they immediately called 911 instead of their own headquarters.
The arch bridge is an example of the poor maintenance of many roads in America. The country is far behind other Western countries in terms of infrastructure and is not even in the top 10 (but in 13th place) according to the World Economic Forum. Over 230,000 bridges are in urgent need of repair.
If it depends on President Biden, that will change soon with his new infrastructure plan. Democrats and Republicans negotiated it for a long time. If they come to an agreement, it will be the first bill they jointly pass.
Since the engineers’ call, the Hernando de Soto Bridge near Memphis has been closed and heavy traffic with some 60,000 vehicles per day has to detour through another bridge further. Truck drivers who would otherwise take thirty minutes to pick up their load are now on the road for six hours.
For trucker Clifton Hughey, this not only costs extra time, but also money. It is paid by the kilometer and not by the hour. He said everything could have been avoided if Washington politicians had invested in infrastructure earlier.
Watch her story here: