The Asheville Police Department shut down Interstate 240 on Thursday afternoon to remove what they described as two “suspicious packages” from the Haywood Road bridge in West Asheville.
Emergency personnel removed what appeared to be a large, red circular magnet with the word “peace” on it.
Here’s the Police Department’s statement:
At approximately 12:45 p.m. the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) reported two suspicious packages magnetized to the Haywood Road bridge (exit 2). In order to properly examine the packages the Asheville Police Department will temporarily stop traffic on I-240 east and west bound lanes. The closure will occur at approximately 1:30 p.m.
During this time we ask that travelers seek an alternative route. Once the devices has been rendered safe lanes will reopen.
The closure of the interstate caused massive traffic backups on several of the main arteries running through Asheville. Police also locked Asheville City Preschool, which is near the bridge on Haywood Road.
-Photo by Greg Mayer