LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) --It was a nightmare for commuters on Monday morning after a big-rig crash crashed and dumped bananas and fuel all over westbound Interstate 580, turning the key commute corridor into a parking lot for hours.
The cleanup is complete and all lanes are open again, but it was a tough morning for drivers going from the Central Valley into the Bay Area.
Many frustrated commuters told tales of being stuck in the backup for hours. The stretch of freeway was partially closed for eight hours.
The 18-wheeler flipped over the guard rail and onto the embankment. It was carrying about 40,000 pounds of fruit, so it took some time to move the boxes down the hill and onto a flatbed truck. Eventually crews got creative and sped up the process with a makeshift slide. But it still took about four hours to unload the truck by hand. Then crews had to upright the big-rig and tow it away.
CHP Officer Steve Creel says this is a good reminder for drivers to check in before they take off.
"People need to listen to traffic reports and sometimes you just can't get there," he said. "Sometimes it's just not a viable option. In this case, with the Interstate 580 westbound commute shut down, all the alternate roads were also jam-packed. There was no way, from this area, to get from the Central Valley into the Bay Area without committing a lot of time."
At its height, the backup stretched for 21 miles all the way into Tracy. All of 205 was also stop and go.
This commute is normally tough, but it was really horrendous on Monday. All the lanes weren't reopened until 10 a.m., so the commute hours were ruined.
The good news is no injuries were reported in the collision.