A big-rig truck carrying Asian food supplies traveling on the upper deck of the Bay Bridge Monday morning caught fire, shutting down two lanes of westbound Interstate 80 for more than nine hours.
The rig's front tire blew out, and caught on fire just before 5:45 a.m. at the Fifth Street offramp near Treasure Island, snarling the morning commute. The driver was unable to escape the blaze without injury, officials said.
Smoke could be seen throughout the city and traffic reporter Mike Inouye recommended BART – with trains running because of an averted strike – as a commuting alternative.
San Francisco firefighters were on scene dousing the flames, and had the fire out by 6:15 a.m.
But traffic on the bridge was nightmarish. Early in the day, officials had hoped to open the bridge by 9 a.m., then by noon.
The lanes finally reopened at around 3:30 p.m., but westbound traffic on I-80 headed into San Francisco remained backed up into the evening rush hour.