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Truck Fire Snarls Bay Bridge Commute All Day

A CHP spokesperson said that a truck fire was cleared from westbound I-80 at 3:30 p.m. yesterday.

A CHP spokesperson said that a truck fire was cleared from westbound I-80 at 3:30 p.m. yesterday.

A California Highway Patrol spokesperson said that clearing a truck fire yesterday that delayed East Bay commuters was hampered by the location of a hazardous material contractor.

CHP Public Information Officer Sgt. Diana McDermott told Action Alameda News that the truck that caught fire at around 6:00 a.m. yesterday west of the Bay Bridge needed to have its diesel fuel tanks emptied by a hazmat contractor that was based in the East Bay.

So the hazmat crew had to fight its way west across the Bay Bridge just like many steaming East Bay commuters trying to get to San Francisco.

Additionally, removal of the burnt truck was delayed by the need to clear its cargo – food – from the road, and from what was left of the trailer, which was soaking wet from firefighting operations. Further, crews were concerned about the integrity of the tractor and trailer chassis, and whether or not they could be safely towed away.

All-in-all, the fire and aftermath jammed traffic on the bridge for over nine hours, increasing westbound travel times to two hours.

“We sympathize with everyone trying to get to work and other destinations, and we review every incident to see what could be done differently the next time,” Sgt. McDermott said.

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