OAKLAND -- Authorities briefly shut down the Bay Bridge in both directions Friday afternoon after a person reported seeing what they believed to be an explosive on the eastbound Treasure Island offramp, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The suspicious device was reported at 12:52 p.m. after a passerby spotted it on the left shoulder of the offramp while driving onto Treasure Island, Officer Michael Ferguson said. The San Francisco bomb squad arrived within 10 minutes to evaluate the device, and slowly began increasing their response to what they found near the roadway over the next two hours.
According to Ferguson, the eastbound offramp and westbound onramp were closed immediately upon the bomb squad's arrival at 1 p.m., and CHP slowly progressed to performing a series of rolling stops as the bomb squad indicated it may be an actual threat. Finally, about 2:45 p.m., CHP units cleared the bridge of all vehicles and began holding traffic on both sides from entering the bridge.
All lanes in both directions reopened about 3:15 p.m. after the bomb squad eliminated any threat the device may have posed, Ferguson said. The bomb squad remains on scene with the object, which is still sitting on the eastbound Treasure Island offramp.
As of 4 p.m., motorists were prohibited from getting off the bridge on the eastbound offramp, and those leaving Treasure Island were required to drive eastbound toward Oakland, Ferguson said.
The shutdown came on a day already teeming with traffic delays, with more than 100,000 motorists hitting the roads to attend the Giants and A's home games, San Francisco's critical mass bike ride, the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival and a slew of concerts expected to draw huge crowds. Motorists were advised to expect significant delays in and out of San Francisco before the suspicious device was reported.
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