Highway Collapse

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- What could be the San Francisco Bay Area's worst morning commute in nearly two decades is under way.

It comes a day after a fiery crash melted sections of a heavily traveled elevated highway coming off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and causing it to collapse.

This morning, it's expected to cause some of the worst traffic tie-ups since the 1989 earthquake Bay Area caused the bridge to collapse. Traffic began to back up earlier than usual this morning.

The bridge connects Oakland to San Francisco. Officials say 280-thousand commuters cross it every day.

Spokesman Jeff Weiss of the California Department of Transportation says commuters will have to find another way to get to and from work. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency to help speed up the rebuilding effort. He's also authorized waiving fares on ferries, buses and the rail system.

A California Highway Patrol officer says it's "amazing" no one was killed when a gasoline truck overturned and burst into flames. The truck driver managed to walk away with second-degree burns.


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