LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — The closure of the Interstate 40 Bridge is expected to cost the Arkansas trucking industry around $2.4 million per day, officials said Friday.
That total comes from the additional transit time it takes for the trucks to go around the closure on Interstate 55, the press release stated. Operational cost data provided by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) indicates the average cost of operating a truck to be $71.78 an hour or $1.20 a minute.
“Using GPS data, we can discern that a previous 8-minute drive is now averaging 84 minutes. This additional transit time at $1.20 a minute for 26,500 trucks is costing the trucking industry more than $2.4 million each day that the bridge is closed,” Arkansas Trucking Association President Shannon Newton said.
Newton went on to say that because of the closure, the additional expenses it takes to operate could eventually be passed on to the consumers.
Repairs to the bridge linking Arkansas and Tennessee could take months after a crack was found in the span. Both states’ transportation agencies said they would make sure the 48-year-old, 1.8-mile bridge is safe before reopening.
The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday that river traffic has reopened on the Mississippi River. More than 45 tug boats hauling about 700 barges had been idled along the river south and north of the bridge, waiting for clearance.