ARDOT will reorganize its bridge inspection program

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – After an internal investigation by the Federal Highway Administration, ARDOT says it will be reorganizing its bridge inspection program. 

This comes following the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River being shut down on May 11 after inspectors found a crack in one of two 900-foot horizontal steel beams. 

Spokesperson of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, Dave Parker, says ARDOT will be completely breaking down its heavy bridge inspection program and re-organizing it with additional resources. 

This is was one of the decisions which came out of the nearly one-hundred-page report.  

The report includes findings from the After-Action Report, the Federal Highway Administration review, and the fracture investigation.  

The reorganization of the heavy bridge inspection program was laid out in the After-Action Report, Parker says it included 10 points. 

“Most notably we are restructuring the leadership of that program. We are adding more personnel to the heavy bridge maintenance section, we are taking steps to make sure fracture critical bridges such as the I-40 are not inspected by the same lead inspector year to year,” says Parker. 

Parker says the last point there, of making sure there’s a different lead inspector for individual bridges year to year is the most important.

That way there’s less of a possibility cracks are missed and each bridge always has a fresh set of years. 

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