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Tunnel collapse truck had no permit

By Charlotte Harper - 21 October 2015 16

Tunnel collapse

ACT Roads Minister Mick Gentleman says the truck that caused the Acton tunnel collapse yesterday morning did not have the required permit for oversized vehicles/loads.

Mr Gentleman told ABC Radio that ACT Policing were still investigating the incident and it was a matter for them whether to press charges against the driver or his employer and for what offences.

While the tunnel did not sport signage to alert drivers to height restrictions, this was not necessary as the ceiling is well over the height requiring such signage by law.

ACT Roads staff were working around the clock to clear the truck and debris from the tunnel in order to open the road and ease congestion, exacerbated by a three car accident at the westbound ramp from Kings Avenue onto Parkes Way this morning.

Canberrans are advised to plan their travel early today and expect further delays in the area.

Westbound lanes on Parkes Way, leaving the city, remain closed between Clunies Ross Street and Edinburgh Avenue.

The eastbound lanes of Parkes Way through Acton tunnel have a 40 kilometre per hour speed limit in place. Motorists are urged to drive with extra care in the area. Delays are expected.

Westbound traffic leaving the city is being diverted right onto Coranderrk Street, left onto Cooyong Street, straight onto Barry Drive, left onto Clunies Ross Street, Lady Denman Drive and onto the Tuggeranong Parkway.

Traffic travelling westbound from Commonwealth Avenue, onto Parkes Way, is being directed straight through to London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue, left onto Barry Drive, left onto Clunies Ross Street, Lady Denman Drive and onto the Tuggeranong Parkway.

Disruptions are also expected to continue for ACTION services, although school services are not impacted.

ACTION’s Route 81 which services the National Zoo and Aquarium, National Arboretum, Black Mountain Tower and the Australian National Botanic Gardens will be diverted via Clunies Ross Street instead of Parkes Way.

The bus stop at Edinburgh Avenue/Rydges Canberra (#4633) will not be serviced during this time by Routes 81, 718 and 719. The alternative bus stop for Route 81 is at the City bus station, Platform 9. The alternative bus stop for Routes 718 and 719 is at the City West bus station, Platform 1.

For up-to-date information on bus services call the ACTION bus information line on 13 17 10 or monitor ACTION’s Twitter account @ACTIONbuses.

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16 Responses to
Tunnel collapse truck had no permit
octagonalman 9:17 am 24 Oct 15

gooterz said :

“While the tunnel did not sport signage to alert drivers to height restrictions, this was not necessary as the ceiling is well over the height requiring such signage by law.”

This event would indicate that it might have been necessary.

Perhaps we’ll have height signage under every streetlamp and overhead road information display too!

gooterz 11:37 pm 23 Oct 15

JC said :

gooterz said :

This event would indicate that it might have been necessary.

Knee jerk reactions such as this is what leads itself to the nanny state. Surprised you didn’t ask for optical sensors and flashing lights too.

Some facts:

Fact 1, load over 4.3m, you need a permit, which sets out the route you will take avoiding any structures that are lower than your load.

Fact 2, anything bridge/tunnel under 4.6m is signed as low clearance. This allows for maximum permitted height with some leeway.

Fact 3 the Action tunnel is 4.9m so above both the legal load height and the leeway height.

Fact 4 the driver should have measured his load, released that it was more than 600mm above what he was allowed to take without permit and either should have adjusted the load, or the trailer (if the trailer is adjustable, some are some aren’t) to get it to no higher than 4.3m.

No need for nanny state signage and the like.

So the absence of a sign makes something ok. What if the sign is illegally removed should people then assume that the structure is over 4.6metres? Sounds dangerous.

Compare the cost of the sign to the impact this has had. Which one is cheaper.

Also the many state is the one where you have to get permits. Leaving signs off bridges and tunnels to force people to pay for permits, that’s what a nanny state is.

JC 6:50 pm 23 Oct 15

gooterz said :

This event would indicate that it might have been necessary.

Knee jerk reactions such as this is what leads itself to the nanny state. Surprised you didn’t ask for optical sensors and flashing lights too.

Some facts:

Fact 1, load over 4.3m, you need a permit, which sets out the route you will take avoiding any structures that are lower than your load.

Fact 2, anything bridge/tunnel under 4.6m is signed as low clearance. This allows for maximum permitted height with some leeway.

Fact 3 the Action tunnel is 4.9m so above both the legal load height and the leeway height.

Fact 4 the driver should have measured his load, released that it was more than 600mm above what he was allowed to take without permit and either should have adjusted the load, or the trailer (if the trailer is adjustable, some are some aren’t) to get it to no higher than 4.3m.

No need for nanny state signage and the like.

Sandman 7:50 am 23 Oct 15

John Moulis said :

The secrecy about the truck, who owns it and the driver is really quite baffling. Whenever this happens in a tunnel in Sydney Ray Hadley is on 2GB immediately naming and shaming the truck driver and the company involved.

Company name is clearly marked all over the truck.

Sandman 7:41 am 23 Oct 15

gooterz said :

“While the tunnel did not sport signage to alert drivers to height restrictions, this was not necessary as the ceiling is well over the height requiring such signage by law.”

This event would indicate that it might have been necessary.

Doubt it would have made a difference. Acton tunnel is high enough to take all legal height loads. Any load over requires special permits and conditions. If this guy had measured the height of his load he would have known that any unsigned overpass needs to be checked beforehand. The likely scenario is that this excavator has been trucked before at legal heights, however this time the arm was left in a more upright position putting it over height.

wildturkeycanoe 7:35 am 23 Oct 15

Surely taxpayers will not foot the bill for this, the government should seek to reclaim costs from the truck driver’s company or their insurance, if the insurer will accept responsibility. Why do ratepayers always cop it on the chin for criminal or neglectful behavior by individuals?

gooterz 1:06 am 23 Oct 15

“While the tunnel did not sport signage to alert drivers to height restrictions, this was not necessary as the ceiling is well over the height requiring such signage by law.”

This event would indicate that it might have been necessary.

dungfungus 7:18 pm 22 Oct 15

rosscoact said :

John Moulis said :

The secrecy about the truck, who owns it and the driver is really quite baffling. Whenever this happens in a tunnel in Sydney Ray Hadley is on 2GB immediately naming and shaming the truck driver and the company involved.

Why do you think the truck owner hasn’t been named John?

He is a lawyer moonlighting?

HenryBG 5:32 pm 22 Oct 15

John Moulis said :

The secrecy about the truck, who owns it and the driver is really quite baffling. Whenever this happens in a tunnel in Sydney Ray Hadley is on 2GB immediately naming and shaming the truck driver and the company involved.

It’s no secret, but luckily Canberrans are not so prone to wanting to stick the boot in after a company (albeit a large international one) and its employees have just suffered an extremely bad day.

rosscoact 4:58 pm 22 Oct 15

John Moulis said :

The secrecy about the truck, who owns it and the driver is really quite baffling. Whenever this happens in a tunnel in Sydney Ray Hadley is on 2GB immediately naming and shaming the truck driver and the company involved.

Why do you think the truck owner hasn’t been named John?

tim_c 3:32 pm 22 Oct 15

Tunnel collapse? Really, you mean a bit of the ceiling fell down – hardly what I’d call a tunnel collapse (which tends to imply the whole tunnel collapsed).

If this truck drive had lost this load on a construction site and scattered broken asbestos materials everywhere, he’d have risked gaol time, yet because he did it on public roads instead, he’ll be unlucky if he gets so much as a 3-figure traffic fine. The ACT Government isn’t really interested in getting you home safely, they only care about getting you off the site safely.

shellcase 3:27 pm 22 Oct 15

Yes, well, this is a case of not surveying the potential route of a large load to check clearances.

Don’t know who is responsible in the ACT but more than likely it’s the driver’s; silly Billy.

According to news earlier this PM veh will be taken back to Hume via Tuggeranong Parkway, hope they’ve checked the height of Cotter Road bridge. Mwa ha ha ha!!

Madam Cholet 2:44 pm 22 Oct 15

I believe that under Chain of Responsibility laws that the responsibility with not only the driver, but also the consignor, employer, owner of the actual goods (in this instance may have also been the trucking company). Whilst the driver was a bozo, who should have had some concept of the height of the vehicle and load, the loader of the truck, his employer and anyone else involved in him being on the road.

John Moulis 4:52 pm 21 Oct 15

The secrecy about the truck, who owns it and the driver is really quite baffling. Whenever this happens in a tunnel in Sydney Ray Hadley is on 2GB immediately naming and shaming the truck driver and the company involved.

bronal 11:20 am 21 Oct 15

I was waiting for that. So ACT taxpayers will foot the bill, as the owner’s insurance company will probably deny liability. You can bet your life that the driver will get off with minimal punishment.

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