West section of NSW Great Western Hwy Upgrade marks new milestone

Monica Gameng   |   November 24, 2021
Great Western Highway Upgrade Program (cr: Transport for NSW)

The West section of the approximately $4.5 billion Great Western Highway Upgrade Program in New South Wales is moving forward towards construction as community consultation begins. 

The community is now being invited to have their say on the concept design and environmental assessment for the road upgrade between Little Hartley and Lithgow. 

“Thousands of motorists rely on the Great Western Highway every day and we are helping fund the upgrades these drivers need and deserve, to ensure they can reach their destination safely and smoothly every time,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said. 

The Australian Government has committed $2 billion towards the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program, while the New South Wales Government has invested about $2.5 billion towards the program of works that will deliver safer and smoother journeys between Katoomba and Lithgow. 

This vital upgrade has been in planning since 2013 and this new milestone is welcome news for everyone who uses this section of the Great Western Highway. 

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the community to help design the biggest road upgrade the Hartley Valley has ever seen, and, alongside the Central and East sections of the Great Western Highway upgrade, will see more than 100km of safe, modern dual-carriageway all the way to Sydney. 

“This will mean traffic can flow smoothly and travel time for motorists will be reduced, so they can get to where they need to go quicker than ever before,” NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole said. 

This section of the upgrade program is going to be delivered in four sections, namely: 

  • Little Hartley to River Lett Hill (east) 
  • Coxs River Road 
  • River Lett Hill (west) to Forty Bends 
  • Forty Bends to Lithgow 

The West Upgrade between Little Hartley and Lithgow will include new intersections as well as transforming the existing highway to a service road to maintain access to local roads and properties. In addition, the eastbound and westbound rest areas are going to be set back into the landscape, reducing visual impact of these two areas. 

“We’ve listened to the community and made a number of design changes to ensure we protect the historic village of Hartley which is a significant piece of local history and our state’s heritage,” the Deputy Premier said. 

injerqWest Upgrade map (source: Great Western Highway Upgrade Program West)

With the release of the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and the concept design, the people who use this road corridor are given certainty that the project is going to be delivered. 

Approximately 11,000 vehicles travel on the Little Hartley to Lithgow section of the Great Western Highway and the numbers are expected to increase over time as more people visit this region of state or decide to move from the city to Western New South Wales. 

“The Australian Government knows just how important the Great Western Highway is in connecting regional NSW with Sydney, which is why we have committed more than $2 billion towards the East and West sections of this game-changing upgrade. 

“We’re proposing this upgrade because motorists shouldn’t have to be stuck in traffic along the highway, be delayed at intersections, or go long stretched without safe opportunities to overtake. 

“It’s really important that the community has input into the project, so I would strongly encourage anyone with an opinion to have their say,” Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee said. 

The Great Western Highway Upgrade Program consists of: 

  • Medlow Bath Upgrade – An upgrade and duplication of the existing surface road corridor with intersection improvements and a new pedestrian bridge 
  • East Upgrade – Katoomba to Medlow Bath and Medlow Bath to Blackheath – Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Blackheath 
  • West Upgrade – Little Hartley to Lithgow – Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Little Hartley 
  • Central Upgrade – Blackheath to Little Hartley – Construction of a tunnel bypass of Blackheath and Mount Victoria, with connectivity between the two proposed tunnels currently under investigation 

“This is a history-making project that will unlock new opportunities for the Central West and strengthen the connection to Sydney. 

“This work will move this critical project a step closer to becoming a reality,” NSW Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier Sam Farraway said. 

The Review of Environmental Factors as well as concept design for the West Upgrade are on display for community feedback until 22nd December 2021. For interested parties, the REF can be viewed online here or you can visit the Lithgow City Council Administration Centre and Lithgow Library Learning Centre. 

On the other hand, the REF for the East Upgrade is set to be released in early 2022. 

Source: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; Transport for NSW (1, 2); Great Western Highway Upgrade Program West – REF Web Portal 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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