Waka Kotahi attempts truck retrieval following fatal Remutaka crash

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 27, 2021

The NZ Transport Agency has begun the first stage of one of the most complex retrieval operations ever undertaken on the Wellington state highway network.

Following a fatal crash where a large truck left State Highway 2 on the Remutaka Hill and rolled down the bank, Waka Kotahi has been working with suppliers and contractors to develop a plan to retrieve the truck and container.

“Retrieving the truck and container from below the Remutaka Hill will be a challenging exercise and perhaps the most complex retrieval operation we’ve ever undertaken on the Wellington state highway network,” Waka Kotahi regional maintenance and operations manager Mark Owen said.

“This is due to how far down the bank the truck and container ended up, the immense weight of the truck and container, and the narrow and steep environment of the Remutaka Hill road.”

Owen said the complex nature of the operations means it will be undertaken in two stages.

The first stage will involve removing the truck from the bank and is scheduled to begin next Wednesday night, depending on weather.

SH2 over the Remutaka Hill will be closed overnight on Wednesday 27 October from 9pm to 4am Thursday 28 October to start the recovery process.

 The full closure of the road is necessary to allow multiple tow trucks and a small crane to access the site, and to ensure our crews are able to carry out the operation safely.

Plans for stage two of the retrieval operation are still being finalised.