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MoDOT: I-70 to remain closed until Monday following damage from fatal fire

Jan 13 2022 I70 Fire.png
Posted at 1:01 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 19:12:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Interstate 70 has been closed westbound at 18th Street since Thursday morning due to a fire.

The fire happened under the 18th Street bridge in an encampment for people experiencing homelessness and claimed the life of one person.

The fire burned so hot that officials have been investigating structural damage to the interstate and the bridge.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials held a video conference Friday afternoon to provide an update on the status of the closure.

Matt Killion, the assistant district engineer for Kansas City, said there was significant damage done to the girders directly under the center lane of I-70.

Crews will start repairs Friday on the outer lanes. The goal is to be done with those by Monday's morning commute.

However, the initial repairs involve concrete repair, so the process is weather dependent and Kansas City is expecting snow and and cold temperatures.

While the two outer lanes will likely reopen Monday, the center lane will remain closed. The repairs for that lane will take longer and require more assessment.

MoDOT will set up traffic control before opening the outside lanes. They will also keep the westbound entrance ramps from 18th Street and 23rd Street closed during the center lane repairs.

Killion does not yet have a cost for repairs. He said most of the cost will be for labor.