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SHIPPING ON MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT MEMPHIS RE-OPENS


by Rhonda Brooks, AgWeb.com

Corn and soybeans are on barges headed down 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 on Tuesday after a crack was discovered in a steel beam during a routine, federally mandated inspection that occurs about every two years.

After review on Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard said river traffic was safe to resume and reopened the bridge, according to a press release.

As of Friday, there were 62 vessels and 1,058 barges in the queue, the release said.

"Based on information provided to us by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Coast Guard has determined that transit under the I-40 bridge is safe for maritime traffic," said Coast Guard Capt. Ryan Rhodes, Captain of the Port of Memphis.

"We appreciate the cooperative efforts of both the Tennessee and Arkansas Departments of Transportation, as well as maritime port partners, to ensure the safety of our waterway," the release said.


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