ARDOT officials close bridge in NE Arkansas, citing ‘structural damage’

State News

The bridge over the Spring River on US-63 in Ravenden is closed. ARDOT District 10 Engineer Brad Smithee said that during a routine inspection they found a “critical safety concern.” This bridge has been around since the 1950s, and construction was being done on it.
Photo courtesty Logan Whaley, KAIT-TV

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ark. – Transportation officials closed the Highway 63 bridge over the Spring River near Ravenden Tuesday afternoon, citing “structural damage.”

The damage was discovered on Tuesday, causing the closure to begin emergency repairs.

According to reporting from KAIT-TV, the closure of the Highway 63 bridge is expected to last 24-36 hours.

This closure comes exactly two weeks after the Interstate 40 Mississippi River bridge linking Arkansas and Tennessee in Memphis was closed due to a crack found that has compromised its structural integrity.

There is no word yet from ARDOT if this is one of nine ‘critical’ bridges in Arkansas that was overseen by Monty Frazier, the inspector who was fired after an investigation showed a failure to note the crack in the I-40 bridge in video shot during the 2019 inspection.

That investigation has called into question on whether inspection protocols were followed previously by that lead inspector.

This is a developing story.

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