Congressman Cohen Welcomes Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Memphis to Assess Damage to Hernando DeSoto Bridge

May 28, 2021
Press Release
Extended invitation to review disruption to major freight corridor

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today welcomed a decision by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to come to Memphis on Thursday, June 3, to assess the disruption to traffic caused by the closure of the Hernando DeSoto-Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River.

“I'm gratified Secretary Pete accepted my invitation to visit Memphis and assess the damage to the I-40 bridge. I welcome his hands-on approach and look forward to working together to repair our infrastructure and reopen one of the nation's busiest freight corridors after a crack was discovered in the bridge.”

Congressman Cohen invited Secretary Buttigieg – known better as “Secretary Pete” – to review the major transportation disruption affecting transportation in the Mid-South and in the nation’s third busiest freight corridor in a letter on May 13. Congressman Cohen noted the importance of the bridge in interstate commerce, part of a network that includes five Class 1 railroads, the fifth largest inland port and FedEx’s distribution hub.

In his letter to the Secretary, Congressman Cohen said in part:

“The closure of this important supply chain artery demonstrates the immediate need for the American Jobs Plan and ambitious investments in our nation’s aging infrastructure. Therefore, I highly encourage you to visit Memphis at your earliest convenience so you can see first-hand the damage of the I-40 Hernando DeSoto bridge and the devastating effects it is having on our distribution network.”

See the entire letter here.

Congressman Cohen exchanged ideas with Secretary Buttigieg at a Transportation and Infrastructure oversight hearing in March, detailing important transportation issues for Memphis before the crack in the bridge was discovered earlier this month.