Cause Of Bay Bridge Blaze Remains Under Investigation

STEVENSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Traffic on the Bay Bridge is back to normal Monday evening after being shut down for several hours Sunday night after a construction fire. Officials say paint from a painting project underway caught fire.

Rochelle Ritchie has more.

Investigators with the Maryland Department of Transportation believe the fire may have been caused by a power generator. This fire just adds to the number of issues we’ve seen throughout this year on the Bay Bridge.

Smoke billowed in the air over the Bay Bridge after paint from a construction site caught fire. The entire incident was caught on cell phone video.

“It’s been a bad summer for the Bay Bridge,” said Chris Ruggieri.

The fire broke out Sunday evening in the westbound lanes of the bridge as many made their way back home. Some got stuck in traffic for hours; others stayed overnight at nearby hotels.

“They had lines going out the door because of the fire and one woman working. I told her I felt like I had to hop back there and help her,” said Susan Mitchell.

Queen Anne’s County firefighters were able to put the fire out pretty quickly. The site of the fire is where materials for the ongoing million dollar painting project are being stored.

The Bay Bridge has been at the center of a number of accidents this year, so much so that drivers have learned to expect anything.

“It’s crazy. We’ve worked here for a while and I’ve been going over this bridge my whole life,” said Ruggieri.

Sunday night’s fire is in the same location where a construction worker fell 15 feet to a platform in June and a short distance from where a woman miraculously survived after her car was hit by a distracted truck driver, sending her car plunging into the water.

While Sunday’s fire appears to be mechanical, drivers say the pileup of problems is unnerving.

“It’s dangerous,” said one man.

No structural damage was found.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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