KANSAS CITY (AP) — A stretch of Interstate 70 westbound into Kansas City has been closed while crews assess damage from a fire that killed a homeless person.
KCTV reports that the fire was reported around 6 a.m. Thursday under an I-70 bridge over Truman Road. The interstate westbound into the city has been shut down ever since.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said in a statement that workers are inspecting the bridge to determine the damage and potential needed repairs. The department has alerted drivers that they should exit I-70 westbound at the Interstate 435 interchange to get around the closure.
“Certainly we understand the impacts of closing I-70 near downtown,” said MoDOT Kansas City District Office Assistant District Engineer Matt Killion. “We really want to make sure the bridge is safe for all travelers. That’s our number one priority.”
Fires at encampments have previously caused structural damage to a bridge in Kansas City. In 2015, a fire under the Beardsley Road Bridge damaged concrete and bent two bridge girders. It cost $400,000 to repair. A second fire at the same bridge in 2018 cost $2 million to repair.