PORTLAND -- Northbound lanes of Interstate 5 on the Marquam Bridge were reopened for Wednesday's morning commute after a a fiery rollover crash Tuesday involving a semi-truck, officials said.
The crash was reported just after 3 p.m. Portland Fire and Rescue officials said the I-beam on the truck rolled over onto a car, smashing it, and both vehicles caught fire. The bridge was reopened shortly about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.
A driver of the semi's pilot car was able to pull the other driver to safety. There were no serious injuries.
The roughly 37-ton, 170-foot beam destined for TriMet's Milwaukie light rail project was cut into four pieces overnight and hauled away, said ODOTspokesman Don Hamilton. Damage to the bridge was minimal.
The contractor was scheduled to receive six girders Tuesday and six more Wednesday for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project, according to TriMet.
The truck reportedly involved in the incident was hauling the fifth girder. The truck route was approved by ODOT.
Drivers were asked to avoid the area if possible. Traffic was backed up past the I-5/I-405 split soon after the crash. Cars already on the bridge were flagged through in one lane.
The road was then closed while crews responded to the scene, and the backup was expected to last throughout the evening commute, said Kimberly Dinwiddie of the Oregon Dept. of Transportation
There were no reports of serious injuries.
Portland Police sent out the picture below, showing how fortunate the driver of the car was to have escaped.