A bridge over troubled tarmac was at the centre of delays for motorists on one of the tightest curves on the Napier-Taupo road.

A trailer attached to a truck towing a massive bridge girder broke down, meaning the oversized load couldn't complete a corner near Te Haroto.

Cars were forced to wait for 40 minutes, and trucks longer, after the truck's steering broke near a hairpin bend on State Highway 5 about 1.5km north of Tataraakina Rd on Wednesday afternoon.

Anne Freer, originally from Stratford-upon-Avon, said she was stuck in traffic for about an hour on the road, before cars were let through on a one-way basis.

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"I couldn't understand why a load this size was being transported along SH5," she said.

NZTA said the road was open under traffic management about 4.45pm, before the road was fully cleared at 5.40pm. Photo / Anne Freer
NZTA said the road was open under traffic management about 4.45pm, before the road was fully cleared at 5.40pm. Photo / Anne Freer

"I'm from the UK and don't know your road system very well - I guess there aren't many other routes."

Police received a report of a truck breakdown about 4.09pm on Wednesday.

NZTA said the road was open under traffic management about 4.45pm, before the road was fully cleared at 5.40pm.

Tomoana Warehousing managing director Stewart Taylor said the company is contracted to transport fabricated beams for roading projects and is currently transporting to a new bridge site on the Puhoi to Warkworth expressway.

"Unfortunately on one of the tightest curves on the journey from Napier, our rearmost trailer suffered a hydraulic steering failure whilst negotiating the corner, which resulted in the trailer unable to complete the turn," he said.

"Our team, along with some roadside assistance, was eventually able to repair the steering and realign the unit on the roadway and carefully complete the turn.

"Unfortunately during this time traffic was delayed, with cars being able to pass on one lane. Larger trucks were delayed much longer.

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"Tomoana Warehousing Ltd understands the consequences of delays to tight schedules and apologises to anyone caught up in this event."

Freer said workmen told them to be patient and seemed relaxed about the whole situation.

"Considering what had happened, the guys did really well and I hope they managed to get home okay."