A portion of Highway 401 near Pickering has been reopened after a messy and long cleanup brought traffic to a halt Thursday, following a fiery transport truck crash.

The accident happened at around 4 a.m. in the westbound express lanes, but ten hours later, the westbound and eastbound express lanes were still closed at Whites Road.

The lanes reopened around 3 p.m. on Thursday. Police initially said they hoped to reopen the highway by noon.

“Unfortunately, there was not a lot we could do,” Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said earlier Thursday as crews worked to clear the scene. “We’re the first responders that are now dealing with the aftermath and the cleanup.”

“We’re trying our best to get this open as quickly as possible,” Schmidt said.

The truck driver was in the express lanes heading into Toronto when the truck went off the road, hit a concrete barrier and skidded along it, which set off a fire.

According to Toronto Fire, crews encountered heavy flames upon arrival but were able to knock the blaze down by about 4:40 a.m.

At a news conference on Thursday, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said he was aware the traffic delays is a great concern to commuters.

“MTO is working very closely with law enforcement to get the site cleaned up,” he said.

The driver of the truck, who was not injured in the accident, has been charged with careless driving.