Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An oily mess

How do you know your heading into trouble on assignment? When you see helicopters circling above the road you're driving on.

There I was trying to finish my day’s assignments when I took a call from the Associated Press asking me if we had a photographer heading toward the huge oil spill on Interstate-580? That’s another bad sign about your next assignment.

A quick consultation of the maps and a check of the web traffic reports narrowed the trouble spot to I-580 at Bird Road. I headed out and at the end Bird road where it crosses over the freeway I found a sludgy mess. Oil from a ruptured Shell pipeline had seeped through the freeway embankment to cover both lanes.

Caltrans crews were hard at work trying to soak up the oil as they worked to open the freeway which had all traffic rerouted to Highway 132.

Standing on the Bird Road overpass I got a good look at the slick as it oozed down the hillside and across the road. The California Highway patrol hoped to have the roadway cleared by sometime early Wednesday morning.

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