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

From five-figures to $47

Maya Shatura was diagnosed with acute lymphyoblastic leukemia in 2015.

Auckland mum says financial help for parents with sick kids is a "grey area" after trading her five-figure income for a $47 weekly benefit.

Chef's kitchen: Anne Thorp

Chef Anne Thorp in her Pakiri home, north Auckland.

My home at Pakiri Beach was built in 1999, and it was built around the kitchen.

Right teams, wrong game

The group pose for a selfie with All Black Sam Whitelock after the game.

Wellington fans turn up at Eden Park with tickets to the wrong test match.

Beard grabbing mutual

Corey Webster and his partner of two years Tanya Mackintosh both testified for the defence at the North Shore District ...

Corey Webster says a beard pulling incident that led to his court appearance was a mutual joke.

Wellington

$100,000 to rename a highway

The new Kapiti expressway at the intersection with Poplar Ave, with old SH1, and new local road, at the top.

Kapiti council gets big lump of taxpayer cash for its road renaming process.

Right idea, wrong test

The group pose for a selfie with All Black Sam Whitelock after the game.

Wellington fans turn up at Eden Park with tickets to the wrong test match.

U-turn on special housing area

A building on George St, in Thorndon, which Wellington City Council turned down as a special housing area for 31 new ...

A proposal to fast-track consent for 31 apartments in Thorndon has been scrapped.

Disgust at killer's Facebook page

Clem Pepene has a Facebook page in his name, despite serving a life sentence for murder.

"Honestly, it's just traumatic," says angry relative of murder victim.

Canterbury

Restoration project with 'heart' video

The Kilwinning lodge on Canterbury St, Lyttelton, was significantly damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes.

Old Masonic lodge and studio for artist Bill Hammond could become a micro-brewery, offices or shops after massive restoration.

Changes challenged

Traffic on Worcester St will not be able to cross Fitzgerald Ave when the current design for the Rapanui-Shag Rock ...

Business owners threaten legal action as council pushes ahead with cycleway.

Disappearance nears 40 days

Christchurch builder Michael McGrath, 49, has been missing for almost 40 days.

Prison guard who police need to eliminate from inquiry into man's disappearance says he's the victim of a witch hunt.

Man seriously assaulted

Police are investigating a serious assault on a man as he walked  to work in Invercargill early on Thursday (file photo).

A man has been admitted to hospital with serious injuries after an unprovoked street attack.

Waikato

Lake trip all it's quacked up to be

They flock in numbers, trying to be the first to get the bread.

A flock of ducks joins this Taupo cruise captain every day as he motors around the lake.

Masks on in flu fight

From Monday, visitors to Waikato Hospital will be asked to wear a mask if they haven't been vaccinated against the flu.

Waikato Hospital visitors given a choice: get a flu shot or wear a mask.

Fleeing driver caught

All four of the car's tyres were blown after police laid spikes.

Passing motorists said the driver of a car on rims was puffing on a cigarette with his headphones on.

Man chases child in fog

Cambridge East School principal Hamish Fenemor said the man took advantage of the thick fog in the area to try and chase ...

Driver follows pupil to school before chasing child through thick fog.

Taranaki

Is it time to regulate mountain climbing?

Officials were waiting for daylight to break on Mt Taranaki before airlifting the man's body off.

Low cloud hindering rescuers recovering body on mountain

New bike after crash

Brenda Crummey treasures her new racing bike, which was bought by the man who struck her with his car on May 16.

Struck down by his car, an injured cyclist's spirits were lifted by the driver's gift of a new bike.

Parking charges to start again

A 12 month week trial of free Saturday car parking in the New Plymouth CBD has ended.

It was good while it lasted.

Woman's cancer shock

Nicole Huston and Emma Wilson were enjoying a girls' trip to Hawaii at this time last year.

She went to the doctor expecting to be given iron pills but was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Manawatu

World record scrum attempted video

Black Fern fullback Selica Winiata places the ball into the scrum.

The attempt had the numbers - but will it satisfy the scrutineers?

Second murder charge

Palmiro MacDonald was last seen in the week leading up to Easter 2016.

A 28-year-old man has been charged with Palmiro MacDonald's murder.

Physicality key for Laumape video

Ngani Laumape will become All Black No 1160 if he makes it on the field on Saturday.

Moving from the loose forwards to midfield started the rise of Ngani Laumape in rugby.

Shooter's appeal fails

The aftermath at the central Palmerston North police station after Faraniko Pei shot at it with a shotgun on August 10, 2015.

 Man who fired shots into police stations, and in full view of constable, has appeal dismissed.

Nelson

Nelson's first catamaran?

27062017 NEWS / SUPPLIED

Patricia and Jack Stent of Nelson.

Team NZ's win brings back memories of Nelson's first cat.

Socks, sex and school

Nelson College for Girls student Madi Fulton Buckle wearing her over-the-knee socks.

A Nelson school's ban on 'creepy porn looking' socks has sparked a student documentary.

'Good-guy' farmer's free motocross

Travis Langford hosts motocross for kids every Wednesday after school on his track.

A farmer has turned a paddock into a free motocross "playground" for local kids.

Nelson winner cashes in with Lotto

A Nelson store is one of eight winning Lotto ticket sellers during this week's second division round.

A Nelson store is one of eight stores to sell second division winning Lotto tickets.

Marlborough

The little weed threatening NZ

Seddon farmer Tim Struthers discusses the spraying programme he has introduced to fight Chilean Needle Grass on his property.

It used to be a farmers' problem, but it could threaten the country's other 'cash cow': tourism.

Clean pee pays off

Charles Wiremu Maru used codenames such as "garlic bread" to offer drugs to people through text messages. (File photo)

Man who used codenames including "garlic bread" to sell cannabis and meth is now off drugs.

Maori school for Marlborough

Omaka Marae general manager Kiley Nepia, back left, with Renwick School principal Simon Heath, back right, and some of ...

"Where succeeding as Maori and being Maori is not an extra curriculum activity, but is at the centre and heart of everything we do."

SH6 reopens after truck fire

Emergency services had to cut a driver from his car after and attempt to overtake vehicles banked up from the previous ...

One lane of the road between Havelock and Nelson has reopened following a truck fire on Wednesday evening

South Canterbury

Teachers push for pay parity

Little Wonders Early Childhood Centre acting manager Laura Trott helps Paris Ngatamiriki, 4, along a plank. The New ...

Early childhood education workers say it is time to pay qualified teachers fairly.

DHB ups ante on air

Timaru District Councillor Peter Burt says he does not support monitoring PM2.5 levels, as the town is already failing ...

Health board wants to take air quality guidelines further and monitor smaller particles.

Concern over gun finds

New Zealand Police Association president Chris Cahill.

Concern after firearms discovered in two incidents in South Canterbury in one week.

Low levels lift prices video

An aerial view showing Tekapo B power Station at Lake Pukaki. The lake level is currently at 524 metres above sea level, ...

'Spot' power prices could continue to rise as South Island hydro lakes drop.

Southland

Steel dominate Premiership final

Ginna Crampton, Wendy Frew (centre) and Shannon Francois celebrate Premiership success.

 The Southern Steel complete the perfect season with a big win over the Central Pulse.

Pet goat killed

22022017 Photo: ROSS GIBLIN\Fairfax
Generic pic: emergency services, police, police car, ambulance, Wellington Free ...

Police are investigating reports of illegal hunting after a pet goat was killed.

Milford tourist boom's problems

The stunning Mitre Peak rising 1.6km vertically out of Milford Sound.

Visitor numbers to Milford Sound are expected to reach 875,000 in 2017 and exceed one million by 2019.

Southland Arts Festival runs at loss

Southland Festival of the Arts organiser Angela Newell ahead of the 2017 festival held in April and May.

The month-long Southland Arts Festival ran at an $8000 loss this year and changes may be afoot.

Ad Feedback