Caltrans: Flares to Blame For Bay Bridge Fires | NBC Bay Area
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Caltrans: Flares to Blame For Bay Bridge Fires

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    Caltrans officials say flares are to blame for a rubber expansion joint that caught fire on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge Wednesday afternoon. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Wednesday, July 15, 2015)

    Road flares left by maintenance crews are the likely cause of two fires in an expansion joint on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, a Caltrans spokeswoman said Wednesday.

    Fire crews responded to a section of eastbound Interstate Highway 80 on fire just east of Treasure Island at 12:01 p.m., CHP officials said.

    The expansion joint was flaming and the fire crews closed two lanes of the highway while they put it out.

    Today's blaze comes after a fire was reported — and quickly put out — in the same are of the Bay Bridge on Monday night. 

    Caltrans spokeswoman Leah Robinson-Leach did not immediately know what the maintenance crews were doing or how many flares were left on the bridge.

    She 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 added.

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

    Bay City News contributed to this report.

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