Missouri transportation officials say that westbound I-70 is still closed after a fire occurred near the interstate on Thursday morning.
Firefighters responded at 6 a.m. on Thursday to a fire at a homeless encampment at I-70 and Benton Boulevard in Kansas City.
One person was found dead at the encampment. Police say that they do not suspect foul play at this time. No other injuries were reported.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) closed all lanes of westbound I-70 on Thursday morning due to concerns that the fire may have caused serious structural damage to the bridge.
MoDOT said as of Thursday afternoon that all lanes of westbound I-70 remain closed near 18th Street until further notice. Eastbound I-70 is open.
The closure has resulted in heavy traffic backups.
MoDOT provided detour information for navigating around the closure:
Westbound I-70 motorists traveling out of Missouri should exit I-70 at the Interstate 435 interchange at mile marker 8 to get around the closure. All lanes of eastbound I-70 remain open. For local traffic only, westbound I-70 travelers can continue as far as the 18th street exit to get to area neighborhoods.
Follow MoDOT on Twitter for the latest travel information.
UPDATE: Motorists are advised that westbound I-70 near 18th St. will remain closed until further notice due to an early morning fire underneath the bridge. Westbound I-70 motorists should exit I-70 at the I-435 interchange at mile marker 8 to get around the closure. pic.twitter.com/aqn8fVJ5pM
— MoDOT Kansas City (@MoDOT_KC) January 13, 2022