They do traffic jams different on the West Coast.

A furniture removal truck from Nelson yesterday wedged itself beneath a railway underpass, just south of Greymouth.

The Conroys truck hit the Clough Road underpass at Paroa early in the afternoon and remained firmly wedged for about an hour.

Kiwi Rail engineering division spokesman Liam Fay said they may seek costs for the "bridge strike" from the truck owner once the damage was assessed.


The Hokitika-Greymouth rail line was closed as a result but reopened in time for the late afternoon train to Greymouth.

Kiwi Rail bridge and track staff were at the scene yesterday to check the structural integrity of the bridge before the train crossed, and as the truck was being freed.

Mr Fay, formerly Kiwi Rail's West Coast network engineering manager, said truck strikes of the Clough Road bridge happened "quite often," up to three times a year.

"If the bridge has been damaged, we will chase the company."

The heritage-listed bridge, with a clearance of 3.4m, is about 1m under-height of the regulation for bridges with a road beneath.

Grey District Council assets manager Mel Sutherland said it was not feasible to lower the road under the bridge due to the flooding hazard.

The simple fact remained, however, that oversize trucks still attempted to go under, despite warnings.

"There are warning signs on both sides and in advance of the bridge," Mr Sutherland said. "I think, between the council and Kiwi Rail, we will revisit options for the future."


That included installing closed circuit television cameras on the bridge approaches to identify offending vehicles, "although that's not solving the problem".

Installation of 3.4m high overhead gantries on the approaches to stop trucks attempting to go under the bridge was another option.

Either lifting the bridge or finding an effective way of lowering the road were obviously more complex, Mr Sutherland said.

Further down State highway 6 the Rutherglen Road underpass opposite the Paroa Hotel is at the standard height as an alternative route to Clough Road.

GRS er