Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Barge Traffic Resumes, Despite I-40 Bridge Damage

Fertilizer on barges is heading up the Mississippi River once again, thanks to a decision by the U.S. Coast Guard to reopen the Hernando de Soto Bridge.
The bridge on Interstate 40, linking Arkansas and Tennessee near Memphis, was closed last Tuesday after a crack was discovered in a steel beam during a routine, federally mandated inspection that occurs about every two years.
After review late last week, the U.S. Coast Guard said river traffic was safe to resume and reopened the bridge.  As of early this week, there were 62 vessels and 1,058 barges in the queue. 
IFCA has received many calls from our members asking for the status of when the bridge would reopen and how many vessels are backed up.  We hope now that the bridge is open, some of the pressure will ease.