Truck stuck in tunnel
"Motorists heading to and from Taranaki along State Highway 3 yesterday had their travel plans disrupted when a truck got stuck in a tunnel.
The Hookers truck became stuck in the tunnel, at the northern end of the Awakino Gorge, just before 3pm, blocking the main route into the region for about an hour.
Transport Safety Minister and New Plymouth MP Harry Duynhoven had a front-seat view of the blockage.
Mr Duynhoven said getting stuck in traffic was becoming a bit of a habit, as he was blocked returning to New Plymouth after a fatal accident at Mokau recently.
"The truck driver did a really good job getting it out."
He said the truck's load looked very high.
New Plymouth man Kevin Calvert saw the funny side of the situation.
"I thought it was quite funny actually, seeing the Transport Safety Minister at the front of the queue," Mr Calvert said.
He praised the road crew and driver for getting the truck free.
Hookers operations supervisor Wayne Mehrtens said the truck was carrying soundproofing for an oil rig at Mokai, 29km north-west of Taupo.
Mr Mehrtens said the load had been measured up and was well within the gauge of the tunnel.
The truck was probably just off square when it entered the tunnel, causing it to get stuck, he said.
No further problems were expected shifting the material, which would take 18 to 19 days."