Queue of More than 900 Ships Forms After Mississippi Bridge Closure

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday May 14, 2021

More than 900 ships are stuck in a queue on the Mississippi after a bridge near Memphis was closed over structural problems.

A total of 52 large ships and 901 barges are now queuing, the US Coast Guard said on Friday.

River traffic has been suspended since a routine inspection of the Hernando de Soto Bridge near Memphis on May 11 revealed a major crack. The Arkansas Department of Transportation has said it may take several weeks to complete a full inspection of the bridge.

"Based on the current information available, we have closed a portion of the Lower Mississippi River out of an abundance of caution," Ryan Rhodes, captain of the Port of Memphis, said in a US Coast Guard statement on Thursday.

"The captain of the port is monitoring the situation and will continue to ensure the safety of the maritime environment and surrounding community."