New treescape revealed for entry to Bathurst

16 March 2021

The eastern entrance to Bathurst will get a significant face-lift as part of the NSW Government’s $45 million upgrade of the Great Western Highway between Kelso and Raglan.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said a new avenue of trees will be planted to replace the existing poplars, providing the town with a once in a generation opportunity to widen the highway and provide a spectacular new green entry.

“Transport for NSW has been working closely with local greening and historic groups as well as Bathurst Council on the avenue of trees to ensure they’re selected with future climate resilience in mind and strategically placed to improve road safety and reduce the likelihood of fallen limbs or trees disrupting highway traffic,” Mr Toole said.

Mr Toole said the iconic tree-lined avenue will be recreated using a variety of trees with strong seasonal change traits in distinct arrangements along the road.

Native trees will also be planted along the boundary to Bathurst in combination with a welcome sign. Shade trees and park trees will also be planted along the Great Western Highway at Elmo Lavis Park to improve the amenity for park users and along the new cycleway.

Greening Bathurst Secretary Hugh Gould said while it would be difficult to see the remainder of the poplar trees removed, it was for a greater good and could not happen soon enough.

“The Raglan Hill conduit is the primary entrance to Bathurst and needs to make a statement to road-users coming into our city. That message is that the people of Bathurst care about their City and the way it presents to the traveller. This new plan should do just that,” Mr Gould said.

Transport for NSW will be removing trees in two stages to ensure minimal disruption to traffic. Trees on the northern side of the highway will be removed from Monday 22 March and trees on the southern side will be removed as part of stage two in mid-2022.

Planting is likely to start in 2023 with the ongoing maintenance of the trees to be managed by Bathurst Regional Council.

Work to remove the trees will be carried out from 6am to 6pm and take up to three days, weather permitting.

There will be changed traffic conditions in place to reduce the impact on road users.

Motorists should follow the direction of traffic control and all signs, including reduced speed limits.

For more information and to see the artist’s impression visit nswroads.work/kelsotoraglan

Background:

Lombardy Poplars - introduced into regional NSW in the 1800s to combat soil erosion and land degradation - will not be used again due to their relatively short healthy life, their propensity to sucker and vulnerability to several tree diseases which cannot be treated.

The primary avenue will be comprised of pin oaks (quercus palustris), but other tree plantings will include red-spotted gums (eucalyptus mannifera), red oaks (quercus rubra) and cimmaron ash (fraxinus pennsylvanica ‘cimmzam’).

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