Truck breakdown, debris spark major traffic delays in Wellington, Auckland

Despite the broken down truck being cleared from the road, traffic was still heavy coming in to Wellington city.
NZTA

Despite the broken down truck being cleared from the road, traffic was still heavy coming in to Wellington city.

A single truck and trailer breakdown caused havoc for those commuting to Wellington from the Hutt Valley on Monday, leading to queues of up to 30 kilometres.  .

An early morning breakdown on State Highway 2 south of Petone about 6.20am had a knock-on effect across the city.

One driver took an hour to get from the Haywards intersection to the Melling Bridge. Traffic along a huge section of SH2 at 9.15am was at a virtual standstill.

Drivers were taking alternative routes through the central Hutt to avoid SH2, causing major delays in Petone and on Rutherford St.

READ MORE:
Wellington traffic congestion surpasses London, LA in morning
Multiple traffic incidents caused heavy congestion across Wellington 
Multiple crashes cause long traffic delays on State Highway 1 north of Wellington

The massive delays were triggered by a truck and trailer unit, which started to spew smoke and broke down on State Highway 2, just north of Petone, about 6.20am.

The truck and trailer was safely pulled over to the side of the motorway in Wellington.

The truck and trailer was safely pulled over to the side of the motorway in Wellington.

Another vehicle breakdown on SH2 near Ngauranga soon after the truck was moved compounded issues.

Traffic at one stage was backed up to Maoribank in Upper Hutt - some 30km from the original crash - and was stretched back to the bays towards Eastbourne.

Much of Hutt City was also clogged as motorists inch their way to the motorway.

Google Maps showed traffic at 7.30am was backed up about 10km along SH2 from the breakdown near Petone.
GOOGLE MAPS

Google Maps showed traffic at 7.30am was backed up about 10km along SH2 from the breakdown near Petone.

As of 8.25am commuter Courtney Churchill said she had been in traffic for two hours.

Ad Feedback

About 9am commuter Phillip Chapman said: "The whole hutt Valley at a stand still. A normal three-minute trip taking almost an hour, just for a break down on [the] highway 10km away."

A witness to the truck breakdown said the vehicle was heading south when smoke started to billow from the vehicle.

"I was a few hundred metres behind it and could see what looked like smoke coming out of it. At first I thought it was some road works machine, but then everyone started hitting their brakes.

"The truck driver pulled over safely, but it was an awkward spot for traffic to get through. I made it past, but I know those single incidents can have a big ripple effect for the vehicles that come along later."

NZTA highway manager Neil Walker said when there was an incident on SH2, "given the network constraint of that route and significant peak flows in the morning and evening, there is the risk of congestion and delays when a natural event or incident happens."

Due to the size of the broken down truck, a specialist heavy haulage vehicle was required to remove it.

It arrived on site shortly after 10am, and the truck was cleared from the southbound lane just before 10.30am. It is usually the responsibility of the company that owns and operates the truck to arrange a tow truck. 

Walker said future infrastructure such as Transmission Gully would help ease congestion by providing extra lanes.

But for SH2 the planned Petone-Grenada link road was one of the most important major infrastructure projects that would help resilience when an incident such as a crash, breakdown, flooding, storm or earthquake happened. 

Walker said the agency was looking at optimising other forms of transport, such as rail and cycling. An investigation was underway to improve the cycling and walking connection between Wellington and the Hutt Valley which would enhance alternatives to driving.

DEBRIS CLOSES LANES, SPARKS HUGE JAM

Meanwhile emergency repairs on a patch of roadway in Auckland's Spaghetti Junction caused a 20km tailback for city-bound motorists on the southern motorway.

Police were called to the scene near the Nelson St off-ramp on the southern motorway about 6am on Monday.

The metal debris on the motorway had initially forced the closure of one lane between Wellington St and Curran St, police said.

NZTA said emergency road repairs would be carried out across two northbound lanes, leaving one lane open.

Northbound traffic on the southern motorway had severely congested between Spaghetti Junction and Papatoetoe to the south, leaving commuters facing a 90-minute drive.

However the jam had started to clear, and at 10.15am started to free up around Market Rd northbound.

Police said it was not known where the metal had come from and that there were no reports or visible signs of a crash.

However, the New Zealand Transport Agency earlier warned of a truck crash at Spaghetti Junction.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Truck smashes through store

The truck came to a rest inside the store.

An unmanned truck has left a trail of destruction in north Auckland after it was parked in a petrol station with it brake left off.

Schools 'screaming' as rolls grow

Long Bay College principal Russell Brooke expects the roll to grow as primary and intermediate school students go ...

A college principal says ballooning primary school rolls will carry over to high schools, as children grow up.

Kitchen cabinet feeds the hungry video

Paradise used to give away about 10 boxes of food per day, now it's about 20 from the cabinet.

A central Auckland restaurant is giving away even more wholesome free food to the needy.

Overcrowding frustrates principals

Torbay School principal Wendy Sandifer wants more modern classrooms, like this one, at her growing school.

Pupils taught in dental clinics, staffrooms and libraries, due to overcrowded Auckland schools.

Wellington

Stolen medals mysteriously return

The missing medals are, from left to right, the New Zealand Operational Service Medal, NZ General Service Medal - Sinai ...

Medals pinched from former Army major returned to his home under cover of darkness.

Measles in Wellington

The measles virus is highly contagious and easily spread from one person to another through the air via sneezing or coughing.

Health officials say sick person may have spread illness before being diagnosed.

Commuter chaos on the way

Masterton companyTranzit is the preferred bidder to take over 60 per cent of Wellington's bus services.

Bus standstill looms as Wellington's drivers reject pay offer from new boss and threaten to strike.

Chef detained at night market

Tuk Tuk Thai Kitchen owner Daeng Neuang-Keo.

Immigration staff nab Thai chef, as food truck owner blames a misunderstanding.

Canterbury

'Pied Piper' left huge shoes to fill

William Viliamu, 41, died while diving in Kaikoura on Mother's Day. His wife, Rena Viliamu, said Wira was like the Pied ...

The death of long-serving teacher, social worker and "good guy" William Viliamu, who died diving in Kaikoura, left huge shoes to fill.

Homes left to rot

Boarded up and vacant in Linwood.

Almost every neighbourhood has one – a damaged and dilapidated eyesore. Who will crack down?

David Bain's new name, life

David Bain at his home in Christchurch after the Government's compensation announcement.

The 45-year-old, acquitted of his family's murder, is now William Davies and is moving overseas.

'Gypsy Day' u-turn

Cows are moved, near Rakaia.

It's deemed offensive, so sharemilkers moving cows to farms need a new name.

Waikato

Hard times after the flood

Ian Eggleton and the glamping site.

A couple's dream job is over in the aftermath of the Coromandel flooding.

Schools' vetting costs

Schools will be forced to sell sausages to raise the average fee of $600 to be paid to police for vetting staff.

Larger schools may have to rely on sausage sizzles to pay for police to vet their staff and keep kids safe.

Med school progress

Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray said the Waikato med school bid is focused on improving ...

High-level talks continue on Waikato's bold med school bid.

Trump lacks mana video

President Donald Trump muscled himself to the front of the Nato pack during a photo opportunity in Brussels on Thursday, ...

People with real mana don't have to shove to the front - the crowd automatically parts.

Taranaki

The war on myrtle rust

Myrtle rust fungal spores found on plants such as pohutukawa, rata and manuka.

The battle against myrtle rust gets harder every day, but those in the thick of it remain confident of victory.

From beyond the grave

The Tariki Hall committee members want to sell the hall and give the proceeds to charity because the income doesn't meet ...

To sell this rural hall, permission was needed from the original trustees - who have long been dead.

Life of service

Marie Panapa shared a vision of better outcomes for casualties of  mainstream education.

OBITUARY: Marie Panapa was widely revered and respected for an education success story.

Guilty to manslaughter

Taranaki woman Helen Rose pleaded guilty to manslaughter during an appearance in the High Court on Friday.

Close to a year after her partner's death, a South Taranaki woman admits to killing him.

Manawatu

Bringing tattooing into the light video

Mikal Carter works on a kea tattoo for a client.

In the Shade is an art studio where two creative souls meet.

Boost not enough

Mental health services will receive an extra $224 million over four years.

Campaigner says people with mental health problems need more government help.

Robbery arrest

The Rangiora Ave Mini Mart was robbed in 2016.

A 17-year-old is to appear in court charged over a daylight dairy robbery.

Hubbard remembered for kindness

The late Graham Hubbard, in his former role as Palmerston North coroner.

Former Palmerston North coroner Graham Hubbard fades away.

Nelson

Big win for musclebound mum

Hollie Pluck won the Bodybuilding Championships in Christchurch in her category as well as best in show.

Toned, tanned and ripped, one Nelson woman proves the fairer sex can multi-task.

NMIT boss resigns

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology CEO Tony Gray has resigned.

The chief executive of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is leaving after 11 years in the role.

Boost for families

Low income families in Mapua eligible for the accommodation supplement could get an extra $145 a week following Budget ...

Low income households in Mapua among big Budget winners.

Hunter rolling with 'pedal power' video

Hunter Grooby 6, with his sister Abby 7, and his new customised trike.

A young boy with cerebral palsy has the whole community behind him as he gets a new set of wheels.

Marlborough

Mac is the man

Richard McNamara will be responsible for Tasman, Marlborough-Kaikoura, the West Coast, North Canterbury, Christchurch ...

Marlborough's rural fire boss Richard McNamara has landed one of the top jobs in the new amalgamated fire service.

Two suspicious fires

Blenheim Volunteer Fire Brigade crews responded to two suspicious fires on Thursday night.

Months on from a spate of suspicious fires in Blenheim, fire crews responded to two suspicious fires in one night.

Help for renters

Finance Minister Steven Joyce holds up a copy of Budget 2017, which includes the Family Incomes Package.

Budget reacts to "crazy" city rents in Blenheim, but will landlords follow suit?

Board that kicked the hornet's nest

The board is reconsidering moving district nurses to the health hub on Queen St, in the former FloorPride Civic Theatre ...

Angry mob warns health boss he'll get stung if he shifts district nurses away from hospital.

South Canterbury

Pink promotes positive message

Timaru Christian School pupils dressed in pink to promote the anti-bullying message.

Timaru youths have taken a stand against bullying, by donning colourful and creative clothing.

Accommodation boost

Finance Minister Steven Joyce announced his first Budget on Thursday.

The Government has recognised parts of SC have become more expensive.

Walsh to measure up

Tom Walsh goes into the Diamond League meet in Eugene as the year's fourth best shot put performer.

Tom Walsh has some hot competition in this year's Diamond League opener.

Timaru man missing

Michael Craig McGrath went missing on Sunday evening.

Police seeking sightings of  three missing South Island men, including one from Timaru.

Southland

Your chance to cast a vote

Cyclist Eddie Dawkins.

Your chance to have your say for the 2016/2017 Southland Sports Awards.

Bus stuck on the beach

Jeff Leeden got his 1964 VAL Bedford bus, Chubby Cheeks, stuck in the sand on Oreti Beach.

Off on an adventure, two men travelling from Melbourne found their vintage bus stuck in the sand at Oreti Beach.

Health professionals unhappy

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Ian Powell.

A medical union has accused the Government of "continued neglect" with its annual health budget announcement on Thursday.

Council's 'Gypsy Day' u-turn

Cows are moved, near Rakaia.

It's deemed too offensive so a new name for sharemilkers moving cows to farms is needed.

Ad Feedback