No heavy vehicles under Oamaru bridge

Waitaki District Council roading manager Mike Harrison stands by the new signs installed in...
Waitaki District Council roading manager Mike Harrison stands by the new signs installed in Humber St, stating no heavy vehicles are permitted under the rail overbridge. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
New signs have allowed Oamaru’s Humber St bridge to reopen this week, but not all traffic will be able to access it.

The Waitaki District Council closed a section of the street last week, after a car was crushed by a large truck that struck the rail overbridge and rolled on to its side.

It was reopened on Wednesday, after new signs stating no heavy vehicles were permitted to go under the overbridge, were installed.

The new signs are above the height restriction signs.

The council’s roading manager, Mike Harrison, said class two or higher vehicles were banned, and the signs were enforceable by police.

Other sign options would continue to be investigated, including those with lights and bells, but there were no immediate resources for them.

"We are looking at what we can do to better signify the height and, if we can do that, then we can look at the traffic restrictions to reduce those, but at the moment those are the full restrictions and we will axe that if we can control height better," Mr Harrison said.

Signs hanging off the bridge were not a good option, as it was too late for drivers to register them.

He said public response to the closure was positive and suggested "taking an action is something the community have looked forward to".

Some questioned why Humber St’s closure to heavy vehicles could not be extended, but Mr Harrison said it was not viable.

"There is a number of trucks that got into the likes of PlaceMakers and they’re allowed to do that, so we need to make sure that we can direct trucks in a place where they can turn around and they’re not stuck."

The council would continue to monitor the street and area closely.

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