California Highway Patrol is in the process of reopening the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Transit officials say to expect residual delays after a big-rig fire there this morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Caltrans had closed eastbound Interstate Highway 580 starting at U.S. Highway 101 in San Rafael to prevent drivers from getting onto the eastbound lanes of the bridge, which have been shut down for most of the day today, CHP officials said.
The original estimated time of reopening was 6 p.m. but the roadway was opened slightly ahead of schedule just before 5:30.
Drivers have been asked to avoid the area since about 8 a.m. when a big-rig crashed into a guardrail and burst into flames.
The fire was extinguished and all the traffic was led off the bridge but the lanes will remain closed until at least 6 p.m. so crews can clean up the wreck, which includes a diesel fuel spill, and make sure the bridge sustained no significant damage, CHP spokesman Officer Andrew Barclay said.
"It's a lot to deal with," Barclay said. "We're literally trying to scrape a melted vehicle off the roadway."
No other vehicles were involved in the crash and no injuries were reported.
The big-rig was hauling 24 tons of contaminated soil from a Marin County construction site, but the soil didn't spill onto the bridge and none of the roughly 75 gallons of fuel spilled into the bay, Barclay said.
Traffic continues to be nightmarish in the area, with drivers being funneled onto city streets near San Quentin State Prison and throughout San Rafael, according to Barclay.