Interstate 70 was closed Tuesday afternoon after a report of the Slates Creek Bridge having issues. While eastbound traffic was diverted through Manhattan, KDOT engineers inspected the road for safety.

Will Ravenstein • The Daily Union

According to Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner, a bridge was deemed unsafe after KHP officials received reports of what appeared to be a buckling in the road on the bridge at the 303.5 mile marker. The KHP reported the complaints to the Kansas Department of Transportation. Upon officials’ initial investigation of the apparent buckling, KDOT closed the bridge and began diverting traffic. 

KDOT had engineers on scene.

“It was initially of great concern,” Gardner said.

However, information released by KDOT indicated the problem is less severe than initially thought.

KDOT Communications Director Laurie Arellano said the bridge has been deemed structurally sound and that the bridge would be reopened sometime Tuesday night. The appearance of buckling, she said, was caused by a pavement issue that was causing debris to fall from the bridge.  

“They closed the highway under the bridge purely for safety because they didn’t want vehicles to be impacted by the debris,” Arellano said. 

The debris came from an old pavement overlay, according to information released by KDOT. Arellano said workers were patching the pavement by afternoon on Tuesday. 

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