Wellington.Scoop » Tunnel reopens after bus damaged – was it due to falling roof, tree or debris?

The airport bus exits the tunnel after the bus in front of it is damaged. Another bus was unable to reverse and returned its passengers in a six-minute walk to a stop at the Haitaitai roundabout.

The Hataitai Bus Tunnel was reopened at midday today after engineers investigated the cause of damage to a bus yesterday afternoon. Inspections carried out by engineers have established that the tunnel structure is in good condition. City Council arborist staff also pruned trees above the western (Pirie Street) entrance to the tunnel.

Wellington City Council gave three different versions of how the bus was damaged in the tunnel yesterday.

This morning on RNZ, a spokesman for the council said the damage was caused by debris falling from the hill above the tunnel. The council yesterday first said the damage was caused by a collapsing roof. He later said the damage was caused by a falling tree. Here are the two versions from yesterday.

WCC News – 6 September
The Mount Victoria bus tunnel was closed overnight after a section of the tunnel roof fell and hit a bus.

No injuries were reported among the bus passengers. But the bus was damaged.

Engineers will assess the damage to the tunnel tomorrow morning.

Buses to and from the eastern suburbs and the airport are diverted through the main Mount Victoria tunnel.

damaged bus 2 WCC photo

WCC UPDATE – September 6
it appears that this afternoon’s incident at the city center (Pirie Street) end of the Mount Victoria bus tunnel was caused by a tree or parts of a tree falling from above the entrance to the tunnel and hitting the front of an eastbound bus entering the tunnel.

Contrary to our previous report, there is no indication that a section of the tunnel roof has collapsed.

The bus has been removed from the tunnel which will remain closed to buses overnight until engineers have inspected the site and the slope above the tunnel entrance tomorrow morning.

Was it deliberate? “The Plot Thickens”

tram tunnel

The tunnel was built in 1907 and was constructed using concrete and brick, and techniques appropriate to the time.

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