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Traffic temporarily halted on California's Bay Bridge due to 'suspicious' item

By Greg Botelho and Amanda Watts, CNN
updated 10:09 PM EDT, Fri July 26, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A small item visible from the roadway looked "suspicious," officer says
  • NEW: It was located on an I-80 off-ramp to Treasure Island
  • Movement on the bridge was temporarily halted
  • Aerial video showed no traffic and police cars blocking entrance ramps

(CNN) -- Traffic was halted briefly Friday afternoon on the Bay Bridge -- between San Francisco and Oakland -- due to what the California Highway Patrol described as "police activity."

Aerial video of the span at about 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) showed no vehicles moving and police cars blocking entrance ramps.

"As SFPD work with CHP, please be patient," the California Highway Patrol, or CHP, tweeted, with SFPD referring to the San Francisco Police Department. "Traffic has been halted."

About 15 minutes later, police officers led a wave of vehicles over the bridge -- suggesting that any concerns had been adequately addressed.

California Highway Patrol acknowledged as much online, thanking travelers for their patience.

Officer Michael Ferguson, from the patrol's Golden Gate division, explained later that a passerby had called in to report what looked like a suspicious item on the eastbound I-80 off-ramp toward Treasure Island. The gray cylinder was small, but clearly visible.

"We get calls like this all the time, where an item or box is called in as suspicious," Ferguson said. "Usually, our officers pull up and are able to rule it out quickly. But in this case, it was suspicious."

Authorities were able to collect and take the item, so that there was no chance it could pose a threat, the officer said.

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