Crews finish cleaning oil spill


The road was first expected to remain closed until 5 p.m. after an estimated 42 gallons of a crude oil and water mixture sprayed across the roadway and over the nearby wetlands this morning, but cleanup was completed sooner than expected and the road was reopened shortly before 3 p.m.

The spill occurred at about 10:30 a.m. as contractors were performing routine maintenance on a section of pipe owned by Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline, company Investor Relations Manager Roy Lamoreaux said.

Most of the crude oil had been flushed out of the pipe and contractors were testing the integrity of the line using water pressure when a gasket blew, Lamoreaux said.

Crews quickly depressurized the pipeline and the leak was stopped, Contra Costa Hazardous Materials Program Assistant Director Steve Morioka said.

The pipeline will be repaired, tested and operable within the next few days, Lamoreaux said.

The California Highway Patrol had initially planned to close the Marina Vista off ramps from Highway 680 in both directions, but doing so would have forced motorists to go over the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, a toll bridge, so they decided to re-route traffic instead, CHP Officer Peter Van Eckhardt said.

Caltrans crews came in to help Martinez police direct traffic around the oil slick, Van Eckhardt said. Marina Vista was closed for a little over four hours.

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