MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, US — The US Coast Guard on May 14 reopened the Mississippi River near the Tennessee-Arkansas Border after closing it for several days due to a massive crack in a bridge.

The closure stranded more than 700 barges, cutting off the biggest route for US agricultural exports during a busy time in the shipping season. The New Orleans Port Region moves approximately 50% of waterborne agricultural exports each year, mostly bulk grain and bulk grain products such as corn, soybeans and rice, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The US Coast Guard said that prior to the reopening, 39 northbound vessels carrying nearly 1,000 barges and 28 southbound vessels with nearly 500 barges were halted due to safety concerns.

The reopening came after the Tennessee Department of Transportation conducted several analyses and determined barge traffic was safe as long as there was no automobile traffic on the bridge.

The Hernando Soto Bridge carries Interstate 40 across the Mississippi River between Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas.