Multi-vehicle crash snarls morning commute on Bay Bridge

The congestion was caused by a fiery crash that blocked three lanes of traffic.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A crash on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco Tuesday morning created a back-up that looked like pre-pandemic traffic. It was proof of what many drivers have suspected: more people are out on the freeway during the commute than at the beginning of the shutdown.

"The fact that the back up on the Bay Bridge and the Bay Bridge approaches was as long as it was today is a function of the steadily increasing traffic all around the Bay Area," said John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. He said he, too, was stuck in the backup.

The congestion was caused by a fiery crash that blocked three lanes of traffic.

RELATED: Bay Area traffic increasing in some areas, but still light on some key commute routes
EMBED More News Videos

Bay Area roads may seem busier these days, but over all traffic is still at about 80 percent of normal since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"About 6:10 am there was multi vehicle collision on westbound 80 just west of the Fremont off ramp. As a result of the collision, which was determined to be a chain reaction collision, one of the vehicles caught fire," said CHP Officer Mark Andrews.

Some drivers said it took up to an hour and a half to cross the bridge.

"The lanes were blocked for just over an hour and at that location the freeway actually narrows coming off the Bay Bridge to four lanes," Officer Andrews said.

"A couple of involved parties were taken to the hospital but it doesn't sound like it was too serious," he said.

RELATED: Traffic expert predicts rush hour traffic could triple because of the novel coronavirus pandemic

Numbers from the MTC confirm that more people are crossing the bridge now than at the beginning of the shelter in place order.

On Tuesday April 7th, Bay Bridge traffic was down almost 50% compared to the same date last year. On Tuesday August 4th, traffic was down 18.7% compared to the same date in 2019.

But down in Silicon Valley, officials say it appears a lot of people are still working from home.

"Traffic is still significantly lower than it was a year ago on the Dumbarton and San Mateo/Hayward Bridges," Goodwin said.

He says if you are planning to start commuting again, you should get a Fastrak pass to help avoid a delay at the toll booth.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.