Great Western Highway looking towards Hartley Valley

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program – Katoomba to Lithgow

Together, the Australian and NSW Governments are investing more than $4.5 billion towards upgrading the Great Western Highway between Katoomba and Lithgow. The Katoomba to Lithgow duplication will provide major economic and safety benefits. It will improve the connection between Central West NSW and Sydney, reduce congestion, improve resilience and freight productivity, and provide a safer and more reliable journey for thousands of residents, commuters, tourists and freight operators who travel in, around and through the Blue Mountains.

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Latest news

SEP 2022

SEP 2022Coxs River Road Upgrade early works contract awarded

Countdown to the start of work on Great Western Highway upgrade

The countdown is on to the start of work on the Little Hartley to Lithgow section of the Great Western Highway upgrade with Ausconnex awarded the contract to carry out early works at Coxs River Road.

View the media release for more information.

AUG 2022

AUG 2022Medlow Bath Pedestrian Bridge design briefings

Transport is seeking local representatives to be part of briefings to discuss the Medlow Bath pedestrian bridge design.

Representatives will join the briefing sessions and help us focus on local values and the concept design before they are presented to the wider community.

f you would like to apply, download a copy of the nomination form and terms of reference on the Web portal. Applications must be lodged by Sunday 11 September and emailed to gwhd@transport.nsw.gov.au.

JUL 2022

JUL 2022Noise mitigation for Medlow Bath homes on the upgrade route

Medlow Bath residents identified as being impacted by increased traffic noise once the Great Western Highway upgrade is complete will be offered early noise mitigation for their homes to minimise the impacts of construction on their families.

Read the 28 July 2022 media release.

JUN 2022

JUN 2022Release of REF Submissions Report

Extra protections for River Lett Platypus population as part of Great Western Highway upgrade plans

Specific measures to protect the platypus population in the River Lett have been included in plans for the Little Hartley to Lithgow (west section) of the Great Western Highway upgrade, following valuable input from the community.

View the media release for more information.

Project information

The Great Western Highway Upgrade Program is an infrastructure program of national importance. It will make the Blue Mountains and the Central West and Orana more attractive places to live, and will unlock the potential of regional NSW.

The NSW Government has progressively upgraded sections of the Great Western Highway to make it safer and more reliable for all road users. This upgrade will complete the final 34 km connection of a modern dual-carriageway link across the Blue Mountains.

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.
  • Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade
    Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Blackheath.
  • Blackheath to Little Hartley Upgrade
    Construction of a tunnel bypass of Blackheath and Mount Victoria, with portals at Blackheath and Little Hartley.
  • Little Hartley to Lithgow Upgrade
    Upgrade, duplication and widening of the existing surface road corridor, with connections to a tunnel portal at Little Hartley.
  • Coxs River Road Upgrade
    An upgrade and duplication of the existing surface road corridor including a road bridge at Coxs River Road.

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Transport is committed to engaging with the community and stakeholders at all stages of the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program from early planning through to design, construction, operations and maintenance.

Read the Great Western Highway Upgrade Program Stakeholder Engagement Strategy.

Katoomba to Blackheath (East Section) Review of Environmental Factors consultation May - June 2022

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Concept Design for the proposed Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade has now closed. The REF and concept design for the Katoomba to Blackheath Upgrade was released for community consultation on 15 May 2022, with consultation continuing to 19 June 2022. The engagement included six community information sessions, which were a mixture of online and face-to-face sessions. Transport is preparing a Submissions Report summarising and providing responses to submissions received during the REF display period, which is expected to be released in late 2022. Project information and the full REF can be found on the online portal.

Little Hartley to Lithgow (West Section) Review of Environmental Factors consultation November 2021 – January 2022

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and concept design for the Little Hartley to Lithgow (West Section) upgrade was released for community consultation on 23 November 2021, with consultation continuing to 16 January 2022. The engagement included six community information sessions, which were a mixture of online and COVIDSafe face-to-face sessions.

Submissions have been categorised and formally responded to in the Little Hartley to Lithgow (West Section) Submissions Report. Transport has also prepared a Consultation Report summarising the community engagement carried out during the REF display period. Both reports were released on 29 June and can be viewed and downloaded from the project interactive web portal at nswroads.work/gwhwestconsult

Medlow Bath Upgrade Review of Environmental Factors consultation July – September 2021

The Review of Environmental Factors and Concept Design for the Medlow Bath Upgrade was released for community consultation on 27 July, with consultation continuing to 5 September 2021.

The engagement included six community information sessions, held online in order to comply with advice from NSW Health and Covid-19 restrictions. These sessions were attended by 146 people in total.

A number of targeted information sessions were also held with local businesses, groups and associations and a number of phone consultations were also held.

During the consultation period, we received 348 formal submissions from 250 individual members of the community, businesses and stakeholders. The Submissions Report to the Medlow Bath REF will be released when the REF is determined.

Blackheath tunnel options consultation October - November 2020

The preferred strategic route option for the bypass at Blackheath was released for consultation on 12 October 2020, focusing upon a long tunnel with various portal options. Consultation continued until 28 November. The engagement included three community information sessions, held online in order to comply with advice from NSW Health and Covid-19 restrictions. 241 people booked into the online consultation sessions, while a further 125 people watched the recorded sessions at a later date. Seven phone consultations were also held, at the request of individual residents. More than 6211 people visited the online virtual consultation portal and more than 2486 items of feedback were received by the project team. You can view or download the community consultation summary report (PDF, 5.52Mb).

Transport has conducted extensive investigations into the feasibility of a tunnel between Blackheath and Little Hartley. Investigations have confirmed that two identical (twin) tunnels, one eastbound and one westbound, around 11 kilometres long would deliver more benefits for the environment, the community and road users than two shorter tunnels beneath the villages of Blackheath and Mount Victoria.

Transport will further develop the preliminary concept design which will be used as the basis for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Department of Planning and Environment will place the EIS on display and invite community feedback in the second half of 2022.

The EIS exhibition is your opportunity to have your say on the development of the Blackheath to Little Hartley tunnel.

Medlow Bath upgrade consultation June - August 2020

The strategic design for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway through Medlow Bath was released for community consultation on 29 June, with consultation continuing to 31 August 2020. The engagement included eight community information sessions, held online in order to comply with advice from NSW Health and Covid-19 restrictions. The sessions were attended by 70 people. A number of targeted information sessions were also held with local businesses, groups and associations and a number of phone consultations were also held. More than 850 items of feedback were received by the project team.You can view or download the community consultation summary report (PDF, 3.7Mb).

Katoomba to Lithgow strategic design consultation November - December 2019

The strategic design for the upgrade of the Great Western Highway from Katoomba to Lithgow was released for community consultation on 07 November 2019, with consultation continuing to 16 December 2019. The engagement included nine community information sessions, two pop up displays and one public meeting held along the corridor at locations including Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, Hartley and Lithgow. The sessions were attended by 1350 people and 1759 items of feedback were received by the project team. You can view or download the community consultation summary report (PDF, 18.5Mb).

The Blackheath Co-Design Committee (BCC) was formed by Transport for NSW in March 2020, following feedback from the community. The Committee included stakeholder group representatives, selected community representatives, and representatives from the Blue Mountains City Council and emergency services.

The BCC was not a decision making body, but the outcome of the BCC is an important input into the Government's decision-making process for determining a preferred route option and design as the program progresses.

The Committee's unanimously preferred option was for a long tunnel underneath Blackheath.

Blackheath Co-Design Committee Meeting Minutes

View or download:

  • Katoomba to Blackheath (East section)– Aurecon have been appointed to refine the design and prepare environmental assessments for this section.
  • Medlow Bath- MRB have been appointed to refine the design and prepare environmental assessments for this section.
  • Blackheath to Little Hartley (Central section)- Aecom have been appointed to prepare the environmental impact statement for this section. Joint venture AECOM / Aurecon (AAJV) were selected to work on the technical investigations and design of the tunnel.
  • Little Hartley to Lithgow (West section) - Jacobs Arcadis Joint Venture have been appointed to refine the design and prepare environmental assessments for this section

Katoomba to Lithgow tender milestones

Project documents

Project notifications

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September 2022 project notification

Rail building replacement work continuing at Medlow Bath – weekend work.

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April 2022 project notification

Social impact assessment surveys from Blackheath to Hartley from 11 April.

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March 2022 project notification

Geotechinical work on the Great Western Highway, from Blackheath to Little Hartley.

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March 2022 project notification

Emergency work on Great Western Highway, Mount Victoria.

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March 2022 project notification

Traffic management on the Great Western Highway at Mount Victoria following record rainfall.

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March 2022 project notification

Geotechnical investigations from Little Hartley to Lithgow from 14 March.

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Novemeber 2021 project notification

Field investigations in Blackheath, Mount Victoria and Little Hartley from 22 November.

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Novemeber 2021 project notification

Field investigations on Great Western Highway, Blackheath from Wednesday 3 November.

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August 2021 project notification

Field investigations in Medlow Bath from Thursday 19 August to Sunday 31 October 2021.

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August 2021 project notification

Geotechnical investigations in Medlow Bath from Monday 6 September 2021.

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August 2021 project notification

Air quality monitoring station installation in Blackheath, Mount Victoria and Little Hartley from Monday 16 August to Monday 13 September 2021.

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May 2021 project notification

Safety Upgrade works, Medlow Bath, from Wednesday 5 May.

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April 2021 project notification

Geotechnical investigation work on the Great Western Highway in Medlow Bath.

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March 2021 project notification

Investigation work on the Great Western Highway from Katoomba to Blackheath.

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March 2021 project notification

Investigation work on the Great Western Highway from Little Hartley to Lithgow.

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February 2021 project notification

Medlow Bath Rail corridor investigation work.

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January 2021 project notification

Geotechnical investigation work between Blackheath and Little Hartley.

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December 2020 project notification

Medlow Bath Safety Works.

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Fact sheets

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August 2021 Air quality monitoring stations fact sheet

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program.

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August 2021 Air quality fact sheet

Great Western Highway Upgrade Program.

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Media releases

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14 September 2022

Countdown to the start of work on Great Western Highway upgrade

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18 August 2022

Seeds for tomorrow's Great Western Highway

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28 July 2022

Noise mitigation for Medlow Bath homes on the upgrade route

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30 June 2022

Extra protections for River Lett Platypus population as part of Great Western Highway upgrade plans

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15 May 2022

Great Western Highway upgrade drives jobs bonanza

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15 May 2022

Have your say on the Katoomba to Blackheath Great Western Highway upgrade

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15 May 2022

Australia's longest road tunnel locked in for Blue Mountains

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22 April 2022

Coxs River Road interchange to be the new gateway to the central west

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22 February 2022

New approach for environmental assessment for Blue Mountains communities.

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13 December 2021

More time for feedback on Little Hartley to Lithgow plans.

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23 November 2021

Have your say on the Great Western Highway upgrade from Little Hartley to Lithgow......

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17 November 2021

Flora and fauna field work starts along future GWH tunnel corridor.

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14 September 2021

Historic Blue Mountains tunnel a step closer.

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31 August 2021

Preservation of Aboriginal heritage a key part of Blue Mountains Highway upgrade.

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27 August 2021

Medlow Bath highway design consultion extended.

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17 August 2021

Baseline air quality testing through Blue Mountains as part of great Western Highway upgrade.

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27 July 2021

Community shapes refined design for Medlow Bath Highway upgrade.

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14 June 2021

Great Western Highway upgrade powering ahead.

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14 June 2021

Safer passage through Medlow Bath ahead of full highway upgrade.

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4 June 2021

Archaeological dig to explore Aboriginal connection to Blue Mountains.

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3 May 2021

Australia’s longest road tunnel proposed for Great Western Highway Upgrade.

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3 March 2021

Doing the groundwork for highway upgrade.

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18 February 2021

Highway history to be preserved for future generations.

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18 December 2020

Contracts awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade works.

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17 December 2020

Safety drives highway upgrade at Medlow Bath.

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30 October 2020

More time to have your say on Blackheath tunnel.

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12 October 2020

Tunnel options best fit for Blackheath.

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1 October 2020

Heading west this long weekend? Making your journey home faster and safer.

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28 September 2020

Contract awarded for Great Western Highway upgrade through Medlow Bath.

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6 August 2020

Medlow Bath residents have more time to consider Great Western Highway design.

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7 June 2020

Medlow Bath residents invited to have their say on Great Western Highway design.

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4 June 2020

Two possible bypasses of Blackheath considered by committee.

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10 June 2020

Great Western Highway upgrade west of Lithgow.

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13 May 2020

Locals have their say on Great Western Highway upgrade.

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28 February 2020

Blackheath locals to help co-design Great Western Highway upgrade.

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3 December 2019

Blackheath community invited to meeting to learn more about the Great Western Highway upgrade.

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7 November 2019

Have your say on Great Western Highway.

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11 March 2019

Green light for $2.5 billion Great western highway duplication.

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Contact us

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact our project team:

Phone: 1800 953 777

Email: gwhd@transport.nsw.gov.au

Post: Great Western Highway Upgrade Program - PO Box 334, Parkes NSW 2870

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