A TRUCK which became jammed on an M1 Pacific Motorway off-ramp was finally freed overnight.
A salvage operation to remove the truck at Cameron Park, which had been transporting a huge piece of refinery equipment, began at 8pm on Monday night.
The white Freightliner prime mover, which had South Australian licence plates, hit the guard rail and had blocked the ramp since 4.30am Monday morning.
Emergency crews and experts including police, Rural Fire Service, Roads and Maritime Services, heavy vehicle inspectors and a bridge engineer spent most of the day trying to free the truck, but the vehicle remained tightly wedged.
A 400 tonne crane was brought in to help lift the 40 tonne wide load.
Northbound lanes of the motorway were closed to traffic for the operation, but have since fully reopened to traffic.
A bridge guardrail on the exit ramp was damaged as a result of the incident and the exit ramp will have a reduced speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour until mid-year, when the guardrail can be permanently repaired.
Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions and follow the directions of signs and traffic control.
RMS had issued a permit for the haul and a pilot vehicle was leading the prime mover when it became lodged. A police car was also travelling with the truck at the time.
A NSW Police spokesman said inquiries were continuing.
“The truck was travelling from Clyde in Sydney’s west to Mayfield,” he said.
“The male truck driver was not injured.”
A spokesman for RMS said the road authority was investigating the incident but would not comment on the identity of the company responsible for the vehicle’s movements.
“The permit provided [to the company] includes a number of conditions for the operator to comply with including the height, width and weight of the load, and how it is positioned,” he said.
“The operator is ultimately responsible for carrying out the safe transportation operation.”
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery urged RMS to “thoroughly investigate what went wrong here”.
“Someone has messed up because it is obvious that the truck was never going to fit across that bridge,” she said.
“Someone needs to be held accountable and the details made public.”