Westbound I-70 in Kansas City reopened after deadly fire closed it days earlier

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Transportation officials said Sunday they have reopened westbound Interstate 70 near East 18th Street in Kansas City after a fire, which took the life of a houseless person, significantly damaged bridge girders.

The two outer lanes of I-70 were opened shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday. The Missouri Department of Transportation said westbound traffic will split at East 18th Street because the center lane remained closed.

It remains unclear when the center lane will reopen and what the long-term plan to repair the bridge will look like, Markl Johnson, a spokesman for MoDOT’s Kansas City district, said in a news release. He said reopening the interstate came thanks “in part to exceptional planning, collaborative efforts and tireless work.”

The highway leading to downtown Kansas City was closed Thursday after a fire swept through a homeless camp near Indiana Avenue and Truman Road beneath an I-70 overpass in the area.

Crews found a body while investigating a cause of the fire. Kansas City police said the victim was an adult and no foul play was immediately suspected.

A body was found early Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in a fire at a homeless encampment near Interstate 70 and Truman Road. The Kansas City Fire Department was called around 6 a.m., said Fire Education Specialist Jason Spreitzer.
A body was found early Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in a fire at a homeless encampment near Interstate 70 and Truman Road. The Kansas City Fire Department was called around 6 a.m., said Fire Education Specialist Jason Spreitzer.
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