U.S. 183 frontage road closures today to clean up homeless camps that caught fire twice

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Authorities will work to clean up a homeless camp under a bridge in northeast Austin following two major fires in February, and that could impact traffic for most of the week.

Firefighters previously told KXAN that 50 people had been living under U.S 183 near Cameron Road. The frontage road here is East Anderson Lane. The site caught fire on Feb. 3 and then again on Feb. 20.

As a result of these fires, a cleanup operation to remove trash and debris under the bridge, led by Austin Watershed Protection and Austin Public Works, is taking place this week.

Drivers have been warned to expect lane closures on the frontage road between Blessing Avenue and Cameron Road from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

A previous tweet from Austin Police indicated the closures could last all week long, but the TxDOT tweet is the more recent of the two.

Nobody was injured in either of the recent fires.

Firefighters investigating the first blaze brought KXAN crews down under the road, where they had found makeshift rooms including bunk beds, carpets and generators for power.

“Our people have known about it for quite some time because we come down here for medical calls a lot,” said Acting Division Chief Matthew Cox. “We always feared there would be a fire. Well, there was a fire.”

In addition to the two fires in February, firefighters have responded to smoke or fire-related calls at this location more than a dozen times in the last year.

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