Did truck fire damage I-55 Bridge?

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — A truck fire lit up the sky in the middle of the I-55 Bridge on Wednesday.

“A tractor trailer had impacted the outside barrier wall of the bridge and subsequently caught fire,” Danny Straessle, spokesperson with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said.

Even though the fire was quickly put out Wednesday morning, crews still needed to keep the bridge closed for 11 hours.

Since at least 40,000 people travel the I-55 bridge, which is made of steel, every day, AHTD sent someone out to make sure it was safe.

“Whenever you have a hot fire like that, you always want to go out to take a look at the steel to make sure the fire, the heat from the fire didn’t do any damage,” Straessle said.

Aside from the steel, inspectors also looked at the roadways.

“Intense heat from these types of accidents can cause concrete to crumble,” Straessle explained.

Inspectors determined the bridge was not damaged.

“Make sure that there wasn’t any damage done,”┬áStraessle said. “Especially on a bridge that was constructed in 1949.”

AHTD said the bridges get inspected every other year unless they have problems similar to the one they had today.

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