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Crews repair damaged I-40 overpass

Should be completed over the weekend
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- More than 24 hours after a truck went up in flames, the affects are still being felt Friday night.

Right now, the Young Road overpass on I-40 is closed, leaving those who work and live nearby finding other routes to get around.

"It's not as damaged as much as I told it was," said James Rucker.

A truck driver was driving Thursday on I-40 west when he lost control somehow and crashed, sending flames into the air. He later died from the injuries.

The accident shut down the west bound lanes for five hours. The overpass at Young Road is still closed right now.

Traffic engineers say whent the truck hit, it damaged the support system.

"The intent is to get the bridge reopened and provide a safe crossing over I-40," said Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department spokesman Danny Straessle.

Engineers say the entire support system needs to be replaced, including two vertical columns and one horizontal column. In the meantime, engineers are bringing in hydraulic jacks to support the bridge.

Transportation leaders say what they are doing now is only a temporary fix, which should be completed over the weekend.

"Then next week, workers will figure out how to get the replacement done; whether we will do it internally with heavy bridge maintenance crews or put it out to contract," said Straessle.

But some are still surprised the accident didn't do more damage.

"I thought it would be more after seeing the fire," said Rucker.

Engineers hoped to get the bridge opened Friday night, but unforseen challenges has delayed the process.

Once the fix is completed, there will be a weight limit of 20 tons.
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