West section of $4.5B Great Western Highway upgrade now on display

Community feedback invited for the Great Western Highway upgrade from Little Hartley to Lithgow
Image courtesy of the New South Wales Government.

The New South Wales Government is inviting the community to have its say on the environmental assessment and concept design for the West section of the Great Western Highway upgrade between Little Hartley and Lithgow.

The Great Western Highway is the main road corridor between Central West NSW and the Sydney road network. It services freight, tourist and general traffic, with varying traffic volumes from about 8,500 vehicles per day near Lithgow and up to 20,000 vehicles per day in the Blue Mountains.

Transport for NSW is proposing to upgrade the Great Western Highway between Little Hartley and Lithgow, located about 96 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district within the Lithgow City local government area.

The Australian and NSW Governments are investing more than $4.5 billion towards upgrading the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow. The proposal forms the ‘West Section’ of the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program.

A concept design was completed in 2013, with the selected road corridor reserved in the Local Environmental Plans for the Blue Mountains and Lithgow City councils.

The proposed upgrade will include works to turn 14 kilometres of the Highway between Little Hartley and Lithgow into a four-lane divided highway. The works will aim to improve road safety, reduce congestion, reduce travel times and improve freight efficiency along the corridor.

The upgrades will also support the increasing volume of motorists, including freight, tourists and general traffic, with 11,000 vehicles now relying on the section daily.

NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the invite for community input was a major milestone for the project, since its early development in 2013.

“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 100 kilometres of safe, modern dual-carriageway all the way to Sydney,” he said.

“The upgrade will include new intersections and also make use of the existing highway as a service road to maintain access to local roads and properties for locals. The eastbound and westbound rest areas will also be set back into the landscape to reduce their visual impact.”

Additional works will also include the provision of five new bridges, two rest areas and upgrades to an existing bridge over River Lett.

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and concept design will be on display until Wednesday, 22 December.

Because of the volume of design material, the REF for Katoomba to Blackheath will be displayed separately, in early 2022.

Community information sessions will be held online on Tuesday, 30 November, and Saturday 11 December for locals. COVID-safe, face-to-face sessions will be held on Saturday 4 December in Lithgow and Tuesday 7 December in Hartley.

Submissions on the project can be made until midnight on Wednesday, 22 December 2021 through the online portal. Once submissions have been received, they will be reviewed before a submissions report is released and the Review of Environmental Factors is determined.



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