Drivers on the M1 motorway who faced 14-kilometre queues on Saturday after a truck fire were experiencing normal conditions by 5pm, a Transport for NSW spokesman said
At least one northbound lane had been closed since before 9am due to the fire, which incinerated a large B-Double truck carrying wine near Brooklyn. The driver was not harmed in the incident.
When the third lane was reopened at 3:10pm cars remained banked back 14 kilometres, from Hornsby Heights to the Hawkesbury River Bridge.
Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Wayne Phillips said shifting the prime mover of the truck had required a special tow truck from Newcastle.
"The trailers [of wine] had to be physically unloaded," he said.
The incident came as many families took to the road for the first day of school holidays.
One motorist said she had moved barely eight kilometres over the past two hours.
"It's ludicrous to think one truck could do this," she said.
Fire crews controlled the blaze and traffic conditions improved mid-morning before worsening again.
Mr Archer said drivers were right to exercise caution as they passed the site but curiosity was causing delays.
"We have had reports of motorists slowing down to take photos on their smart phones," he said.
Motorists were encouraged to delay their journey or take the Pacific Highway instead.
The truck driver had noticed smoke coming from the engine of his prime mover, jumped out of the cab and tried to extinguish the blaze himself.
The M1 incident was Sydney's second school holidays hassle after a power outage at the airport's Terminal 2 left thousands of passengers stranded on Friday.