Bay Bridge lanes re-open after rubber expansion joint catches fire again

Photo Credit: CHP



SAN FRANCISCO (KRON, BCN) — Fire crews were called out to the Bay Bridge on Wednesday afternoon to put out a small blaze at the same location that caught fire two nights ago.

The fire was reported at about noon on one of the rubber expansion joints on the new span of the Bay Bridge, just east of Treasure Island in the No. 1 lane. Caltrans has confirmed to KRON 4’s Scott Rates that it was a road flare that started both fires.

Firefighters put out the blaze at about 12:14 p.m. but a small section of the affected site started to flare up again.  The fire was quickly extinguished but fire and Caltrans engineers had closed the No. 1 and No. 2 lanes to inspect the scene.

The lanes reopened around 1:50 p.m.

Caltrans spokeswoman Leah Robinson-Leach said the fires damaged the rubber seal on the joint, which protects it from debris and saltwater, and repairs will be needed. However, the damage has not created any safety hazards for drivers, she said.

She said the fires were likely caused by road flares left by maintenance crews doing work on the bridge, but she did not immediately know what the crews were doing or how many flares were left on the bridge.

Caltrans has not yet determined when repairs on the seal and joint will take place, she said.

On Monday night, a fire coming through the same expansion joint caught fire. CHP said it looked like some debris accumulated in the expansion joint, and that it may have been started by a cigarette.



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