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Bay Bridge re-opens after major traffic jam

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A major scare at the Bay Bridge prompted an immediate closure of the entire westbound span Tuesday morning.

All lanes have since re-opened, but the major back-up has many wondering about Labor Day and getting to and from the beaches.

News Chopper 7 flew above the traffic jam caused by the sudden and unusual bounce on the westbound side of the bridge around midnight. The movement shocked and scared a repair crew working on the bridge's highest span. The bridge was closed for repairs at the time and remained closed for 12 additional hours.

When the sun came up, inspectors went to work trying to find out what caused the bridge's fluctuation.

Meanwhile, drivers heading to and from the Eastern Shore endured a severe case of traffic trauma.

Motorist Keith Menz never made it to his office Tuesday morning.

"Got off at the exit I could get to, went home, opened up my computer and started working from home," Menz said.

Eventually, inspectors determined a tarp in place to catch debris actually caught a gust of wind, which sent the bridge on an unusual up and down ride.

"The bridge is absolutely safe for traffic, and I will tell you that we would not be in a posture of re-opening that bridge if we hadn't convinced ourselves completely that that was the case," Harold Bartlett, the executive secretary of the Maryland Transportation Authority, said.

Good news for beachgoers who feared a continued closure could affect their Labor Day weekend travel plans.

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