South Yorlshire Police said: "The M1 is closed in both directions between J36 and J37 after a suspicious package was found close to the road earlier today. Full update below and we'll share more as soon as we can. Thanks so much for your patience.
"Specialist officers are on the scene to establish what the package is. It is expected to be closed for some time."
Sunderland fans travelling to tonight's match at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday are caught up in the tailbacks.
National Highways said: "The M1 is closed in both directions between J36 and J37, near Barnsley, due to a police-led incident. "
South Yorkshire Police have been approached for more information.
Northbound - follow the solid square symbol, from J36 - via the A61 westbound, the A616, the A629 northbound and the A628 eastbound - to return at J37.
Southbound - follow the hollow triangle symbol - via the A628 westbound, the A629 Southbound and A616 eastbound - to leave at J37 and return at J35a.
Delays are likely on the approach to this closure, with additional journey times also expected on diversion routes.
Further incident information is available from National Highways by visiting our www.trafficengland.com website and travel apps, or via our @HighwaysYORKS regional Twitter feed. Our 24/7 Customer Contact Centre is also available to provide up to the minute information on 03001235