10:45 a.m.: Bear Creek Drive has reopened to traffic after Merced fire officials determined a mysterious box of liquid posed no threat to the public. Battalion Chief Shawn Henry said the box contained boxes of dye commonly used for medical testing and X-ray procedures. The box was likely taken during a burglary of a nearby home owned by a distributor of the dye, Henry said. When the suspect saw the box only contained containers of liquid, he left it behind on the Bear Creek bike path.
Earlier: A stretch of East South Bear Creek Drive from Glen Avenue to McKee Road was shut down Friday morning as Merced Fire Department investigated a possible hazardous substance left on the bike path. Merced police were controlling traffic.
Battalion Chief Don Long said the fire department had a report about a box of containers with an unknown liquid. No spill had occurred, Long said.