Taupo man charged over digger-bridge crash

A Taupo truck driver has been charged after allegedly crashing a digger into an Auckland motorway bridge, causing hours of disruption for motorists.

The 65-year-old man is facing a charge of dangerous driving after a digger he was allegedly carrying on the back of his truck hit the Penrose overbridge on the Southern Motorway last week.

Two lanes heading south were closed for three hours, and business leaders say it would have cost the city "tens of millions of dollars".

He will appear in court in June. The charge carries a mandatory disqualification from driving for six months and possible punishments of three months in prison and a $4500 fine.

The Penrose Rd bridge has been hit a number of times by vehicles too tall to fit underneath it. In October 2015 it was struck by a motorhome, the driver fleeing before authorities arrived.

In 2012 a truck carrying sheets of glass smashed into it, with onlookers saying the panes exploded into a white cloud.

In March this year it was hit by a truck and trailer unit, blocking traffic all the way back into the city.